Arable land and clean water are increasingly in short supply, and traditional agriculture consumes 70% of the world’s freshwater. Yet farming is essential. We all need to eat.
Sadly, 1.1 billion people entered this millennium without enough to eat. Clearly, we need to rethink the way we grow and distribute food. That’s where indoor farming comes in.
Indoor farming allows us to grow food in smaller spaces with fewer resources than traditional agriculture. And it supplies food regardless of weather conditions. So what types of indoor farming exist, and which is best? We’re glad you asked.
Greenhouses are the type of indoor farming you’re probably most familiar with. They allow food to be grown in the winter and use natural light to create heat. While greenhouses can be a wonderful addition to private homes and yards, they have significant disadvantages when it comes to farming at scale.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. And in cities, the lack of available land means that greenhouses would need to be constructed on rooftops. This creates its own set of challenges.
For example, during warmer months, plants can be killed by high temperatures. Plus, it’s difficult and expensive to design rooftop greenhouses that can withstand high winds and accommodate features like HVAC ventilation.
2. Container Farm
Container farms make use of modular or shipping containers to grow plants. This allows a large volume of crops to be grown in a small space, recycles otherwise unused shipping containers, and makes transport easier.
However, container farms also come with significant disadvantages. Shipping containers were designed for shipping, not growing. That means there are often problems with ventilation, especially since high-intensity lighting must be used.
It’s also uncomfortable for farmers to work inside of shipping containers, creating a less-than-ideal environment. Trying to deal with these problems frequently requires additional expense that reduces the overall value of container farms.
Warehouse farming is an excellent choice for urban environments. Often, abandoned or unused warehouses can be converted to indoor farms, creating an asset for the community. Warehouses provide plenty of space for indoor farming, and the produce grown can be used to supply the local community, thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint of the farm.
Warehouses also allow for the greatest volume of produce to be grown because they allow either horizontal rows or vertical stacks of plants. And because plants are grown indoors, there’s no need to use pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
At OnePointOne and Willo Farm, we choose to employ vertical farming techniques because this allows us to grow the greatest amount of produce in a given area. It also allows us to farm without pesticides and to reduce our impact on the earth.
We are committed to building the most advanced plant production system on Earth, and we’d love to partner with you. Learn more about our technology here.
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