I have shown that regular farming using 100 year old techniques can increase agricultural production by 50% over the next 20-30 years and by 100% over the 50 years. I have also shown that single story greenhouses can be built for $20-60 per square meter, which would provide a doubling of food from about 1 million square kilometers of greenhouses which could be affordably built for $20-60 trillion over 50 years.
How about vertical farms. Building greenhouses in skyscrapers ?
We do not need vertical farming to feed people to prevent starvation.
We can use it to affordably provide super-fresh and better tasting food for people in the cities.
Freshly picked fruit and vegatables are far better tasting. The French Laundry is a highend restaurant in California’s Napa (Yountville) valley where they have a farm right beside the restaurant.
French Laundry Farm
Within walking distance of chef Thomas Keller’s renowned Yountville restaurants–The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery–is a beautiful 3-acre garden that supplies each restaurant with its daily fruits and vegetables. Culinary gardener Aaron Keefer manages the garden and collaborates on a daily basis with each culinary team to create unforgettable dining experiences using the freshest possible organic produce.
Aaron Keefer says “I believe vegetables are like fish. You have to eat them soon after catching them. I think that flavor starts even before you source the seeds. The composition of the soil, the seed genetics, the environment where the product is grown—these all come together to bring you the flavor of that vegetable. Simply put, fresher is better.”
French Laundry dish
Living in California, I have picked fresh cherries from the tree. Fresh off the tree cherries are hard and crunchy. Utterly different from the mushier “cherries” in supermarkets.
Pineapples in Hawaii are super-sweet and entirely different from produce in a supermarket days away. When I was growing up in mid-West Canada [Saskatchewan] the pineapple was yellow but were tasteless little cubes. The juicy sweet pineapple nearly fresh from the farms in Hawaii or in Asia are not remotely the same.
We will have vertical farming because people will be able to taste the difference and want it.
It could even be achieved without that much of a premium cost.
There will also be efficiency in not having to have the supply chain (refrigeration, gassing of fruit and veggies to control rippening, or transportation.)
People will want to have in-city local farming.
Currently many places have farmers markets. Where farmers drive in with food picked either that day or the day before. The freshness difference is substantial and the cost is either not that much more or is close to supermarket prices. By eliminating middle men costs are either lower or close to the same.
Other states and countries may not have farms with a wide variety of produce because of climate. Vertical farming will change that. If an urban area has the space a non-vertical greenhouse could more cheaply provide the same fresh produce.
Also, greenhouses and vertical farms provide the produce year round.
Eat fresh off the farm or tree fruits and vegetables. You will not want to go back. You will want to pay more for it when it is reasonably available.
Skyscraper farming because fresher food tastes a lot better
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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