What’s the deal with our current food system?

An article published in United Nations in 2019 showed that by 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to 9.7 billion people with 68% of the global population being urban dwellers.  Feeding this large amount of people will be a huge challenge. In a very short period of time, due to industrial development and urbanization, we have gone from being a population that produces our own food to one that depends on a global supply chain. This has resulted in the loss of arable lands. According to WWF, one of the most common cause of deforestation and severe forest degradation is agriculture. In 2015, scientists reported that the Earth had lost one-third of its arable lands over the previous 40 years.  If degradation continues at this rate, we may only have less than 60 years of topsoil left to grow.

While modern agricultural techniques have improved production rates, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 11% of the world’s total land area is now used for agricultural production. This is leading to ecological challenges ranging from habitat deforestation to land degradation and immense pressure on our planet’s resources. Moreover, as our cities expand, the distances between suitable agricultural land and the large populations that consume its products increases, therefore increasing the impact of transportation. Added to these challenges is climate change, which disrupts seasonal weather patterns and could have devastating impacts on crop yields. For these reasons, it is critical that we find better ways to improve our agricultural productivity. We can do this by adopting better agricultural management practices on a global scale. One possible solution to tackle these issues could be vertical farming.

What Is Vertical Farming?

Vertical farming is the process of growing food in vertically stacked layers, which can be done both indoors and outdoors. It is an efficient way to produce food in a small space by using a variety of methods such as hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and more. They offer a number of benefits over traditional agriculture, including:

– Reduced transportation costs

– A reduction in water usage

– Less land is needed to produce the same amount of food

– Improved air quality from reduced fossil fuel use

– Doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides

Vertical farming can also be used to produce crops year-round, even in places where the climate is not suitable for traditional agriculture. 

Types of Vertical Farms

Indoor Vertical Farms: These types of vertical farms have the ability to grow plants indoors with artificial light, so they can be located in any climate.

Outdoor Vertical Farms: These types of vertical farms use natural sunlight to grow plants, so they cannot be located anywhere but where there is enough sunlight.

Vertical Farming in Your Home or Apartment

Vertical farming is a technique of growing plants and vegetables in a controlled environment. It is an efficient way to grow food in urban areas. This blog will help you set up your own vertical farm at home or in your apartment. It will also help you decide what kind of plant to grow in your vertical garden.

Step 1: Choose the right location

To grow your own vegetables, you must first decide whether to create a vertical farm indoors or an outdoor one. If you want to create an indoor vertical farm in your apartment, then we recommend you use a small space inside your apartment- any small space will do. For example, you can use a corner or even a closet for growing vegetables indoors. When choosing space for lettuce plants, you should focus on light and ventilation because these are the two most important factors for indoor vertical farming. You can also use this technique in greenhouses that have already been set up in outdoor areas.

Step 2: Choose the appropriate size

To learn how to set up your vertical garden, the first thing you need to do is determine how big the space for growing vegetables will be. You can decide on a small or a large vertical garden.

Step 3: Choose the right type of plant.

Now that you have chosen the appropriate size of vertical garden, you should carefully consider what to grow in it because there are many different types of plants and vegetables that can be grown vertically indoors or outdoors. You could try growing lettuce, spinach, peppers, or even dwarf pears and apples indoors, or try growing tomatoes or cucumbers outdoors when growing vegetables outdoors. You only need to consider the right type of plant and its spacing because different plants require different types of sunlight.

Step 4: Choose the right lighting and ventilation

Since light is essential for indoor vertical farming, you should look for lights that are energy-efficient and have the correct amount of light designed to grow certain plants. You will also need an appropriate ventilation system or even an air conditioner. You will find many greenhouse kits for sale on most online stores like Amazon with artificial lighting, LED grow lights, fans, carbon filters, and glass grow panels. 

Step 5: Choose a watering method

Water is an essential factor in indoor or outdoor vertical farming. You will have to regularly water plants with water and nutrients because they need water to survive. 

If you are going to use hydroponics methods, then you should use a hydroponic nutrient system that contains everything from nutrients, pH modifiers, and even microbes to combat disease and fungus. These products can be found on Amazon or other online stores.

Step 6: Choose a Growing medium

Coco coir is an ideal growing medium. 

Step 7: Set up your vertical farm and grow

Once your farm is set up, carefully control the temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels of that space to ensure there is a balance between these three factors. To increase yield, you could add nutrients such as fish emulsion or organic chicken manure to your garden. Use a light cycle that mimics the way sunlight reaches the earth during each season.

Step 8: Harvesting 

When you’re ready to harvest your plants, use scissors or loppers to cut the stems of your vegetables.  

Step 9: Enjoy!

Now you should have a basic idea about how to build your own vertical garden at home or in your apartment. Of course, there are many other tips and tricks for setting up your own vertical farm. You can find more information about this in our video!