GaryD

Farms of the Future

47 posts in this topic

That was a great video Gary.. Thanks for the link. I hope to see that happen in whats left of my life time..:D

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this is EXACTLY what i think is needed for the planet... i love the ideas, the outcome is indisputable and the benefits for humanity and environment is positively drastic. .. what stands between the concept and its realization is..... PROFIT !! .. the costs, inclusive of profits is killing the feasibility of such an endeavor, as there will be more PROFITS in commercial leases and human habitads than in farming... What COULD be feasible, especially in USA , would be to utilize the vacated areas in f.ex detroid, chicago and other cities, where the heavy industries have closed, and turn THESE into industrial HP/AP complexes, using the latest cheap lightning technologies, timed pumping systems and Renewable energy converters.

Such an undertaking should be met with governmental support like 10 years free lease, as it would improve food sustainability, food prices and employment rates. Add to that the ripple effect of the " me too" effect, which stipulate that once someone has successfully created a niche, others will follow in it... ergo, more people would apply to utilize vacated building in former populated areas, and go into vertical industrial farming.... win-win if you ask me....

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Now if we could figure out a way to do things without money.. As the base reason we do everything.

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heheheh.. yeah that would be great .. :P .. however.. i dont think so.. :P

the closest chance ever would be to get free lease from the govt,of one of their vacated/abandoned buildings.... THAT might be possible...

I spoke with a professor yesterday actually, who said he would be interested in seeing a strategic paper on Commercial AP as a food sustainability issue.... itwas VeRy tempting :P ....

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Found this article ( copied in and link to original article) on Chicago talks... really interesting and give me hope for the youth of the future..

During a Saturday afternoon in November, three volunteers at The Plant Chicago were busy busting down two brick walls with hammers and crowbars. Their protective eye goggles fogged up and sweat rolled down their foreheads as bits of mortar flew into the air. As they slammed their tools into the wall, they had to be careful not to destroy the bricks. They would be reused later to construct a bakery oven in the building.

Below them, three college students in The Plant’s basement glued pieces of PVC piping together as classic rock blared from a radio. These pipes will allow water to run from fish tanks to a plant bed.

From the outside, The Plant may look like an abandoned building, but there is a unique plan growing inside — Chicago’s first vertical farm.

Vertical farming

Chicagoans import almost all of the city’s fresh produce. A package of cherry tomatoes from the Lakeview Jewel-Osco grocery store, for example, traveled all the way from Eden Prairie, Minn. t

o get here, according to the label. A package of larger tomatoes was shipped to the store from Arlington, Texas.

Growing food thousands of miles outside the city and transporting it in is simply not practical or sustainable, and the environment suffers as a result, says ****son Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University. Producing food locally could make the city more sustainable.

The traditional way of farming and transporting produce to urban areas may seem to be working fine now, but in the future that may not be the case. In his book “The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century,†Despommier wrote that the world’s population is growing larger each day, and a consequence of this growth is global warming. The more the population grows, the more fossil fuels we pump into the environment for our food production.

“If we continue with our current food-producing strategies, getting enough high-quality, safe produce to 8.5 billion people will define the next crisis we must address and remedy if the human species is to survive,†he wrote.

There are a handful of community, rooftop and city gardens in Chicago aimed at keeping food local, which many believe is a step in the right direction for reducing the city’s fossil fuel emissions. But according to Despommier, the traditional way of farming — planting horizontal rows of plants in soil — is not a permanent, long term solution to providing fresh food to Chicago’s residents.

Ben Kennedy, an architect who contributed to the Museum of Science and Industry’s farming exhibit “Fast Forward…Inventing the Future,†says although the way we farm now was the original way to grow food, that does not mean it is the efficient way.

“The traditional way of farming is all we know,†Kennedy says. “It creates the pretty pictures of the smiling cow with the nice little farm in the background, but when you think about it, that is not how it really is.â€

He says a problem with traditional farming is that after growing food on the same land for many years, the soil eventually lacks the nutrients necessary to continue producing food. This means over time there will be less and less available farmland. This may not be a pressing issue at the moment, but it is a reality of the future that must be addressed now.

This is possible because innovative agricultural technology has made producing year-round local, organic and nutritious foods indoors and within city limits a potential reality.

Farming indoors itself is not a new concept; many high tech greenhouses already successfully produce large quantities of fresh produce. The problem is that most greenhouses are located outside city limits where land is cheap, so there is still the problem of transporting food long distances, which results in high carbon emissions.

According to Despommier, the solution is to build farms vertically — literally stacking rows of plants on top of each other — in buildings within the city.

What type of plants can grow in buildings? Despommier says all types. Even the complicated orchid plant will grow indoors.

“So if you can do that with an orchid, you can certainly do that with a potato,†he says.

Outdoor plants need soil so their roots can spread out, but plants grown indoors and arranged vertically could be grown hydroponically. Hydroponics grows plants in mineral-enriched water without soil and uses 70 percent less water than conventional farming, according to Despommier.

Vertical farms could also use a growing method called aquaponics, which uses the hydroponic method to grow fish and plants together. Everything is recycled in this farming system. The waste from the fish serves as nutrients for the plants and the plants filter the water for the fish to live in.

There are indoor, high-tech farms that already use hydroponics, such as Euro Fresh Farms in Wilcox, Ariz., which spans 318 acres and is the world’s largest hydroponic greenhouse. Despommier, the visionary behind the vertical farm, says the only difference between Euro Fresh Farms and a vertical farm is compressing those 318 acres into a vertical building closer to the city. It turns out to be a big difference, however, because it requires a rethinking of how to make a building.

... continue article at the source.... well worth the reading...

source: chicagotalks.com

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I'd be a hypocrite if I say I'm not excited for this idea.

But, I would still prefer the old style farming, nothing can beat that.

I want the future generations to experience the real farming.

I'm not saying that this isn't real, but the traditional farming is still the best for me.

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I like this idea for a long time, but... it's always but. I think that we (people) not ready yet for this. On YT video he talk about feed the people in city.

They don't starving. Need to do this were people are starving.

Remember Live Aid ?

I do.

I'm all for this idea but....

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I like this idea for a long time, but... it's always but. I think that we (people) not ready yet for this. On YT video he talk about feed the people in city.

They don't starving. Need to do this were people are starving.

Remember Live Aid ?

I do.

I'm all for this idea but....

This is what the cities all over the world should do. Imagine how many buildings are vacatn, nearly wverywhere, while fresh and healthy foods gets squeezed further and further away from the main markets. Imagine using the vacant buildings for agriculture? Its the dream come true.. i WISH i could get to do a project like that, .....

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When I talk about AP with people here, they look me like I'm crazy, I feel like Galileo Galilei and "And yet it moves".

They just don't see big picture. But I keep trying,talking,explaining,....phuuu.

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One must keep in mind that in many cases the `transport cost of the tomato` is free. When I was growing up in Florida the semi trucks would line up in the fields of strawberries, tomatoes, melons, etc. Loaded they headed for Atlanta, Chicago, NYC. The truck was not going to these cities to deliver food. They were going there to pick up industrial goods for the way back South. The food delivery was just a way to defray the costs of what might have been a deadhead run otherwise.

Transport costs are not reflected in most food for this reason. In that vein, an AP set up in Chicago will compete against a field crop in Arkansas with maybe a $50 charge cost for the entire load. The cost disparity per sq ft makes the remote crop the winner.

I don't want to dampen the spirits but that's the reality.

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One must keep in mind that in many cases the `transport cost of the tomato` is free. When I was growing up in Florida the semi trucks would line up in the fields of strawberries, tomatoes, melons, etc. Loaded they headed for Atlanta, Chicago, NYC. The truck was not going to these cities to deliver food. They were going there to pick up industrial goods for the way back South. The food delivery was just a way to defray the costs of what might have been a deadhead run otherwise.

Transport costs are not reflected in most food for this reason. In that vein, an AP set up in Chicago will compete against a field crop in Arkansas with maybe a $50 charge cost for the entire load. The cost disparity per sq ft makes the remote crop the winner.

I don't want to dampen the spirits but that's the reality.

....provided the AP loactions in Chicago DOESENT make their marketing right, and make people come to THEM !! .. logistics can be avoided if buyerrs are persuaded to come to the supplier and not the other way around....:)

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Well, I like the idea, But it sounds like a mall to me. This could be good or bad it all depends. Sounds like they are renting space to small AP growers and people doing other things which have nothing to do with farming. Whether this is successful or not it will be up to the customers.

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....provided the AP loactions in Chicago DOESENT make their marketing right, and make people come to THEM !! .. logistics can be avoided if buyerrs are persuaded to come to the supplier and not the other way around....:)

Maybe. But if the delivery supplier is consistently providing top quality produce right to their delivery door the urge to make the trip lessens. The success as I see it, is in delivering quality produce in-situ in areas where logistics are poor or extremely expensive. The other of course is providing produce selections that cannot be found at the average produce mart on a daily basis.

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That was an interesting read... A far cry from my backyard version and way out of my league on the investment side :( But a excellent way to go.

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Hi,

This type of concept may lead to a change in the way that "factory" farming is perceived.....and practised.

There is no automatic connection between intensive farming and bad food.....or animal cruelty.

Gary

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Yeah, Now Factory Farms will look like factories..:)

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Perhaps not. Clever farmers will take advantage of the vertical surfaces to grow crops where they can.....so they might end up as green towers......of all different shapes and sizes.

Gary

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Hi,

This type of concept may lead to a change in the way that "factory" farming is perceived.....and practised.

There is no automatic connection between intensive farming and bad food.....or animal cruelty.

Gary

I completely agree.. look at what the smart farmers of old aztech civilization did .. they would have animals on top, leading to waterways with fish, which led to plants.... and plants EVERYWHERE ... in reality, the concepts of the HANGING GARDENS ( one of the 7 wonders of the (old) world, was hanging gardens, which play on the concept of utilizing every space( vertical in this) available.....

I think the utilization of vertical spaces ARE theanswer to the future.. this being done on an industrial scale does not mean unethical/ Harmful ways. In reality, i think that in the industrial, non-poor countries, we will over time see a bigger demand on more organic, AND better utilized ways of producing food, to minimize the impact of mother earth while still satisfying demands for food. When that happens.. the only way is... up ...:)

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