People are really putting their thinking caps on and getting creative with urban farming. The hefty food prices and not so fresh produce is making people leap towards it. Crops are being grown in empty plots to skyscrapers to tiny balconies. It helps make communities self sufficient and cuts down on transport costs as traditionally, cities always got their produce from faraway places. But of course cities are cities and come with unique challenges that are forcing people to get creative in solving problems. There are three particular trends in this field that are very promising:
The dearth of space to grow crops gave birth to the vertical farms which basically is growing crops along the length of buildings. Some of these farms have even eliminated the need of soil by using what is called aquaponics. They use water with fishes whose waste acts as fertilizer.
The most popular vertical farm is the Plantagon in Sweden. The huge building will allow plants to grow vertically up and get maximum exposure to sun. The 400 square meter space is set to produce around 500 tons of food a year. Inspired by this initiative in Sweden, some cities in the United States are starting their own vertical farms like The Plant in Chicago. The windy city suffers from a serious shortage of fresh produce and could use such a farm that produces tons of fresh food right at home.
Indoor crops are being grown inside containers that are pest free and provide food all year round. A duo in Boston came up with this idea and used empty shipping containers to plant crops. Freight Farms control these containers digitally and the containers are completely insulated. They are even Wifi equipped so they could be checked from anywhere. Through these indoor farming containers, they are able to provide food even in the toughest of weather when the entire city is covered with dense snow. Through this brilliant way, farmers can virtually eliminate the need to export seasonal vegetables and fruits.
People are using almost any space available to start their own gardens. A family in Arizona came up with the idea of converting their pool into a closed urban garden. Garden Pool is helping people learn about urban gardening and food sustainability. They are teaching people how to convert pools into a food oasis by combining water conservation, solar energy and fishes. A garden in an average sized pool can produce food for a large family round the year. Those who have pools in their homes and do not use them quite often or live in a cool climate can turn it into a garden and make profit too.
Need is the mother of invention and we are seeing some very cool ideas come to life in between cloud touching skyscrapers. People in cities all across the world are not only adapting urban farming but also taking it a step ahead by coming up with creative solutions for the challenges they face.