The New Epoch in food production 2016 – Aeroponics Vertical farming saves water and land. Aeroponics saves 95% of water used by conventional land based farms. That’s swimmingly wet by using mist without soil and only a miniscule amount of water. Just consider the alternative, acres and acres of lettuce from the Salad Bowl in California using vast quantities of water vs a farm the size of railroad boxcar (or several stories high).
There are so many advantages with aeroponics: saves water; saves space; no pesticide needed; eat organic; DIY or buy your vegetables, herbs and fish from a vertical farm. Farm anywhere, in any location, any climate, any season. On average, a head of lettuce travels 1,200 miles to reach your plate – think of Alaska – while aeroponic farms can be mobile growing stations, the size of a shipping container. A recent New York Times article highlighted 3 new operations (using aeroponic and hyddro) to fill the void of life without salads (from living too far a field from lettuce). www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/us/closing-the-farm-to-table-gap-in-alaska.html?_r=0 …
A vast new operation 90,000 sq. ft of vertical aeroponics opened the first week of Jan.2016, in a suburb of Chicago, … https://www.facebook.com/FarmedHere?_rdr=p … FarmedHere became the world’s largest vertical farm of its kind with 90,000 square feet of space under its roof. Cofounder Jholanta Hardej, a former mortgage broker and interior designer, started with a 4,000-sq-foot facility in 2011, then a 10,000-square-foot one. “Her newest farm cleverly integrates aquaponics into the agricultural flow, using tanks of tilapia fish to clean their water and provide fertilizer” for their soillfree aeroponic crops. Hardej is projecting her FarmedHere facility will produce millions of pounds a year of organic greens like lettuce, arugula, basil, mint, and spinach while providing hundreds of local jobs with facilities worldwide. FarmedHere got help as a startup with a $100,000 loan from Whole Foods; which speaks well for future potential distribution channels. The company plans to develop 20 facilities across this country; FarmedHere is already helping Saudi Arabia with their style of vertical farming, soon to happen in other counties.
Farming with 95% less water – Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/175-julyaugust-2015/15509-farm-in-a-box … introduces his “in-the-box farming system, or P.E.A. (Portable Environment for Agriculture) which relies on the aeroponics technology. Wilson grows in shipping container box-pods which operate year-round in any climate and have all the benefits of a highrise vertical farm, but with portability. The founders are currently testing the system in a 40-foot container housed in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in Klamath Falls, Southern Oregon where saving water is always a concern.
About “Closed-looped” farming and “super foods” – I have discovered a great addition to my pizzas – watercress as a topping – just last night and it was great. Here we have a convenient way to obtain these tasty leafy greens if you don’t have a chance to go out foraging for wild edibles next weekend. The Farming Fish www.thefarmingfish.com/ is a certified Organic fish farm (tilapia) using principles of aquaponics to complete the growing circle. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (farmed fish) and hydroponics, where the nitrites from the fish are used by plants as nutrients. This way, fish are raised in pollution-free water (not ocean water, nor river water near a pollution source), and this water can be reused. This is termed a closed-looped system – envision a mobius strip (never stopping), it just keeps on working. I love fish and I love watercress… and saving water not only feels good but it keeps the planet alive.