The Vertical Farm Project

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    By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?Advantages of Vertical Farming

    Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
    No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
    All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
    VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
    VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
    VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
    VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
    evapotranspiration
    VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
    parts of plants and animals
    VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
    VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
    VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
    VF creates new employment opportunities
    We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
    earth
    VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
    VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
    LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
    VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
    and land for agriculture