The world we inhabit demands speed and efficiency in every aspect of our lives. Crops are very difficult and expensive to grow on a mass scale near to the people who consume them most, posing a challenge for the farming industry. Large cities are in high demand for perishables, however, fruit and vegetables often expire sooner than people can consume them. What’s the solution?
Vertical farming is still very much in its infancy in the UK but is considered by many to have a lot of potential. It involves the use of high-rise buildings in city centres to organically farm upwards, instead of using vast amounts of expensive land far from central locations. Imagine floors upon floors of lettuce fields and cows grazing on perfectly flat, square grass carpets like the great outdoors but inside an office. Using tall buildings in this way could mean wasting less space on the ground and that the fresh produce will be on consumers’ doorsteps as soon as it’s ready. There are plenty of positives to this concept, such as cleanliness (without the need of soil) and the ability to control pests and diseases. But with many new ideas comes its challenges, for example, how to provide enough energy to grow the crops without turning this truly green project into an electricity sapping fifty-floor greenhouse. Although businesses have been building up since the 1880s, can agriculture take the same step?
In the world of tomorrow skyscrapers housing sweet potato beds may be shooting up all around us. Alternatively, we might be living off meals in toothpaste tubes. Who knows, but one thing is certain; speed and efficiency for the consumer is an ever-growing way of life that demands innovative response. The online shopping world may also follow suit, as Amazon.com are looking into plans for delivering products by drone, taking the notion of convenience to a whole new level. It won’t be long before there are floating dairy farms in the sky and deliveries of raining milk.