It is the world’s first low carbon hydraulic water-driven, tropical vegetable urban vertical farm, using green urban solutions to achieve enhanced green sustainable production of safe, fresh and delicious vegetables, using minimal land, water and energy resources.
The farm system, created by the company Sky Green and called A-Go-Gro, is a series of aluminum towers, up to nine meters high, with 38 tiers with troughs in which vegetables are grown. To ensure uniform sunlight the troughs are rotated via a hydraulic water-driven system that needs just 0.5 liters to rotate one of the 1.7 ton structures. With an emphasis on efficiency Sky Green made sure that the water was recycled, eventually being used to water the vegetables themselves. Just 60 Watts of power – just enough for a lightbulb – is needed to operate one tower per day. The company that builds the system, Singapore-based Sky Green, claims that the artificial system is 5 to 10 times more productive than traditional farms.
Only about 7 percent of Singapore’s food is grown locally.
Sky Green is planning on expanding their current 120 towers to 300 in 2013, over which they expect production to increase from half a ton to two tons and increase the proportion of locally grown from 7 to 10 percent. The increased production would also drive prices down and attract even more customers
Benefits – Economic
* Increases productivity The production yield of Sky Greens Farm is 5 to 10 times more per unit area compared to other traditional farms growing leafy vegetables using conventional methods in Singapore.
* Vegetables tastes good Tropical leafy vegetables are grown in special soil-based media, which contribute to good tasting vegetables, suitable for stir-fry and soups. The vegetables are harvested everyday and delivered almost immediately to retail outlets to consumers.
* Year round production As the vertical farm structures are in protected-outdoor green houses, the vegetables are grown in a controlled environment, protected from pests, wind and floods.
* Consistent and reliable harvest Steady supply of fresh leafy vegetables is assured as growing is done in a controlled environment.
* Easy to install and easy to maintain The modular A-frame rotary system allows quick installation and easy maintenance.
* Better ergonomics and automation The rotary system allows the troughs to be immediately adjusted for easy harvesting. Automation at the farm also means more productive workers per ton of vegetables produced.
Benefits – Environmental
* Environmentally friendly high-tech farm Sky Greens observes, learns and works with nature to achieve sustainability for the good of the environment and to grow safe, high quality and fresh vegetables using green technologies for consumers in Singapore.
* Low energy usage Outdoor green houses have abundant sunlight in the tropics. The A-Go-Gro system uses patented low carbon hydraulic green technology to power the rotation of the tower at very low energy costs, while still allowing the plants to get more than adequate sunlight.
* Low water usage As the troughs of plants rotate, it is irrigated using an innovative flooding method, using very little water. Water is also recycled and reused.
* Waste and water management Sustainable water management practices are utilized on the the farm. All organic wastes are composted at the farm to ensure the use of high quality and safe fertilizers.
* Green technologies Green technologies are stringently adopted at the farm to achieve the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle).
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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