Given the issues surrounding contemporary mega-farms, is it plausible to suggest reverting back to local farming practices?
The idea of creating urban farming structures which incorporate green sources of energy which allow them to not only self-sustain as structures but which also sustain surrounding communities through their outputs is an interesting topic both on a theoretical level and on the design front.
According to The Vertical Farm Project, "By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers."
There are several advantages to urban farming listed by The Vertical Farm Project:
· 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
· 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
· 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
There are many things to consider when discussing urban farming. However, I believe it is a plausible solution to many problems associated with our current system of food production.