Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vertical Farming



-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

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
evapotranspiration
-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
earth
-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.


Poor Stagg...he sometimes wonders just how crazy I might be...my obsession with rejecting totalitarian agricultural economy...my ideas of how we could live differently have irritated friends and family for decades.

The other night Stagg got a wild valedation that maybe I am on to something after all...

...he saw a guy on tv talking about "vertical farming" for cities. EXACTLY what I have suggested in endless arguments for decades.

Understanding the profound mistake acknowledged with Canada's formal apology to Native Canadians last week...maybe just maybe Canadians will be ready to think about new ways to make a living rather than forcing other cultures to live like farmers.

I think Stagg was relieved to know I am not the only crazy motherfucker in the world...




Stephen Colbert's guest the other night discusses "vertical farming"...

In the next 50 years, the U.N. estimates the world’s population will reach roughly nine billion people, and the vast majority will live in cities. Feeding those hungry mouths, experts say, will require clearing an additional ten billion hectares for farming—that’s an area roughly the size of Brazil. But Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist at Columbia University, doesn’t believe that chopping down the world’s forests to make new farmland is the answer to easing potential food shortages. Instead, he wants to bring farming to the places where most consumers and supermarkets are—namely, cities. Forget community gardens and the occasional greenhouse; Despommier and a team of his students propose farming in skyscrapers, or “vertical farms.” They envision 30-story buildings that each take up a city block and grow enough food for 50,000 people per year.
“It’s not just a way of generating food,” says Despommier. “It’s a way of dealing with municipal waste, recycling water, and using methane digestion to help a city be sustainable.”
the entire article is found here

Advantages of Vertical Farming

-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

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
evapotranspiration
-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
earth
-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.

This is likely to be my last post on this blog for a while. Everything I have been inspired about for my life and that influenced my writing on this blog has come to mainstream culture this past few weeks. "Vertical Farming" has entered univerisity experiments and courses and people in the last year have been making architectural drawings that deal with the tragedy of us growing food. The Canadian government's apology to Native-Canadians and Aboriginals means we have publically begun to understand the holocaust that farming created for the environment and for creating human social class systems.

Until I find a new "aha" experience or a paradigm shift to explore...I don't see much use for this blog at the moment. Hopefully some of my visitors have considered the risk to their health by eating starches (depression, diabetes, mental illness and malnutrition...often manifested as cynicism and weight issues). I am happy knowing that some people started buying at least few products grown organically since I began blogging. And hopefully some visitors will consider the holocaust of farming as something we should contain in cities rather than expanding to the wilderness.

The last two posts of this week have been the most personally important to me and the vaccuum of comments tells me I have hit the wall. Being boring is a good sign...means I got my message across enough for visitors to know what the deal was around this blog. A very rewarding feeling, thanks visitors! I will still be blog-surfing to blogpals.

In the meantime, may the Goddesses and Ganeshes bless you.

Let the wilderness return to hunters-gatherers and wild animals...not to fucking farmers. Later...

Vertical Farm

3 comments:

Captain Karen said...

I can't get the video to play.... damn. And I can't find it on the website. Great post regardless. I've heard about vertical farming too and it's a great idea. Along with container gardening and urban community gardens. There's so much unused space (or poorly used) in our cities and never enough green. It would help the air quality, provide local sources of food and cut down on the environmental impact of traditional farming. I don't think you're crazy at all!

Candy Minx said...

Hi Karen, really great to see you! I got the video from here:

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=173624

it's Comedy Central Stephen Colbert, June 12. I suspect that the site only plays for certain cities or for cable subscribers. Urp. Because it's playing great for me right now...I like your new icon, so cute!

Jane said...

I liked the concept. I think it is practically inevitable once I heard the reasons. It would be nice perhaps if new housing and apartments were made with them integral. From balcony gardens to roof greenhouses. I think vertical farming should grow on everything! Get some government aid if you need it to start all that good stuff.

I am big sci fi fan and vertical farming sounds scifi-ish. Hydroponics for food supply of concentrations of people has been done already on colony ships and space station facilities. At last done in fiction.