Talk:Vertical farming

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Criticism[edit]

This is a great concept, but is there any criticism that can be addressed to make this article seem a bit more relevant?

I wonder if there are any current projects being done by students at Columbia which would address this.

I think this is an exciting concept and I would like to see this article grow to reflect its current progress. --Joseph.r.martinez 05:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the only downside is the cost. Grundle2600 01:12, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

There is certainly plenty to criticize, but nothing that I can find outside references for. But I'll soapbox here: first, there is no need for vertical farms. Even if 80% of Earth's arable land is in cultivation, it's not in very efficient cultivation. If the world average for crop efficiencies were brought up to the US or EU standards, production would at least double without a single additional hectare. Second, the concept as stated violates the first law of thermodynamics. Clearly, there is not enough solar energy hitting a tiny little building to feed 50,000 people, so a massive input of electricity would be needed for grow lights. The proposal is to get this from fermenting biomass, biomass produced with the energy of the grow lights! It's a perpetual motion machine.

Frankly, I have no idea how a Columbia professor can get away with this kind of nonsense. Chuao 22:14, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


Thank you for noting that the claim that a vertical farm can be a net energy producer is a blatant violation of the laws of thermodynamics. More discussion on this is greatly needed in the article.

As I recall from the vertical farming site, the "net energy generator" claim was based upon a student paper that proposed the generation of electricity through the anaerobic digestion of livestock wastes. Their paper neglected to consider livestock feed as an energy input. Oops.

A relevant analysis (from a peer-reviewed source, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2008.03.007) of a chicken barn -- the animals responsible for producing much of the vertical farm's proposed electricity in the student paper -- found that, "...feed provision accounts for 80% of supply chain energy use, 82% of greenhouse gas emissions, 98% of ozone depleting emissions, 96% of acidifying emissions and 97% of eutrophying emissions associated with the cradle-to-farm gate production..."

In other words, of course the hypothetical vertical farm is not a net energy generator nor a "zero footprint" food production system. It is simply concentrating and converting the energy of conventional, distant, rural field-based feed production. Almost all of the associated environmental impacts still remain.

The Scientific American article somehow slipped in a reference to vertical farms requiring, "...no fertilizers..." which also shows an embarrassing lack of understanding basic plant physiology. Plants require fertilizers, and fertilizers require plenty of energy to manufacture. The vertical farm would require constant input of fertilizers: that's how hydroponic systems work.

The closest systems we have to vertical farms today are level hydroponic greenhouses. They still benefit from a lot of "free" solar energy that would be absent in large areas of a hypothetical vertical farm, and also due to the lower structural requirements for single-story construction would presumably have a much less embodied energy in their actual structure. One 'ecological footprint' analysis of a modern greenhouse (I have the thesis available somewhere but it's referred to in the book here: http://books.google.ca/books?id=N__ujKDfXq8C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=ecological+footprint+tomato+greenhouse&source=bl&ots=3zT7-vjrvW&sig=z_ojBqDgQYZC4-mjsRE0tTH0fZI&hl=en&ei=yZ0XSueTOo6UswOYme3ZCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1) considers the land use efficiency of a single story greenhouse to be 20 times LESS than a comparable field-based agricultural system. It's very difficult to envision a vertical farm doing any better.

It may also be worth noting that the "food miles" that are used as a major justification for vertical farms are a very small component of the GHG emissions of the food system. Good studies from the UK have shown this for a decade now. A Carnegie-Mellon study (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es702969f?cookieSet=1) from 2008 estimated the "farm to retail" food miles that are of great concern to be only ~4% of the GHG emissions associated with the food system. So, it's possible that a vertical farm could increase GHG emissions by ~2,000% over current field agricultural practices while chasing down a ~4% reduction through eliminating "food miles"

Like cities themselves, the hypothetical vertical farms are huge nutrient and energy sinks that require the ecosystem services of vast rural areas in order to sustain themselves. Until somebody conducts a rigorous Life Cycle Analysis on a model vertical farm, it's all just hype and is probably symptomatic of how out of touch the urban populace is with the agricultural production that supports them (ok, this is just soapboxing now).

Better yet, let Dubai or Las Vegas build one of the things so we can get some empirical analysis as to how efficient they actually are. These locations would be ideal test beds for this idea, as they are blessed with lots of surplus cash, lots of fossil-fuel based energy, and are are completely free of fertile soils or a productive regional agricultural base.

Basically, though: with a little bit of thermodynamics, a little bit of plant physiology, a little bit of physical chemistry (triple N bonds are hard to break, there's no getting around it) and a little bit of understanding of energy use in building construction and operation, the vertical farm looks like absolute nonsense. Rigorous quantitative analysis is desperately, desperately needed.

Somebody help us!


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 154.20.98.178 (talk) 07:05, 23 May 2009 (UTC)



When the idea was mentioned on Charlie Stross's weblog, he suggested putting a small nuclear reactor in the basement. :) --GCarty (talk) 13:46, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I have not read or seen any criticism pertaining to the obvious problem of internal city pollution affecting these crops. If a vertical farming tower is built in downtown Chicago near the river, how are all of the environmental pollutants from the atmosphere, the river, et cetera kept out of the process? These towers do not appear to be hermetically contained, and there has been no information about pollutant filtration either. Every discussion I see completely sidesteps this fundamental criticism. Anonymous 06:08, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


Curious to know if GMO have been deemed required by the people behind vertical farming. If so, the intellectual property would increase the costs. jlam 21:30, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

From a production standpoint, there is no need to use GMO crops in the kind of growing system that is proposed. From a publicity standpoint it seems critical. The vertical farming proposal is ridiculous from a technical, economic, and scientific standpoint. Selling it requires throwing out a cloud of "high tech" buzzwords. Proposing GMO crops fits right in.Phytism (talk) 11:17, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I can think of at least one criticism for this- it claims to be a possible solution for desertification and deforestation, but the places where this takes place, the technology level and economic situation would never support the creation of such a tower. Also, for most places normal farmland is vastly preferable, due to the cost per results, and with modern farming technology deforestation and desertification is NOT an issue in the first world. I can't think of too many places where a) Something like a farm tower could be made, and b) there's a need for a farm tower to be made. Perhaps a Mars colony. 71.126.127.21 (talk) 04:01, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

First Vertical Farming Installation in Europe Criticism[edit]

I removed the following text from the main article, seems like it should be here instead. 208.87.234.180 (talk) 14:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Someone is obviously getting vertical farming confused with single story indoor hydroponics - I stacked plants ontop of each other in my greenhouse years ago it doesnt make my green house a vertical farm! Vertical Farms are multi-story structures - please re-examine. (Well done to Valcent Products it is a nice piece of technology and I'm sure it will do well)

Other companies making farmscrapers[edit]

Other companies that make or -have proposed- farmscrapers have not been described: See Michael Braungart's MBDC, Rafael Pizarro and finally Ken Yeang

87.64.163.98 (talk) 15:59, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

removing of vegas claim[edit]

the ip reverted with comment - "24.126.76.179 (Talk) (4,468 bytes) (Removed Las vegas claim - refuted here:http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/28654" -


yet, http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/28654 does not seem to refute that:

"The city of Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States will build the world's first 30 story vertical farm. Scheduled to be open in 2010, the $200 million dollar project would produce food for 72,000 people."

please clarify this if you feel strongly that it does. Thanks. --Emesee (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I've removed this claim again. See http://blog.businessgreen.com/2008/01/so-is-las-vegas.html for justification. There's no source to be consulted - no contractor, no architectural firm, no city planner, no nothing - and all potential sources have been negative. 24.174.69.211 (talk) 03:19, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

New York[edit]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/07/15/eafarms115.xml Emesee (talk) 16:26, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

in NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/science/15farm.html?_r=2&hp&oref=login&oref=slogin ... and the external links section looks like it could maybe use a bit of trimming. Emesee (talk) 05:51, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Anonymous edits to the advantages section[edit]

I have removed the "All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers" line. Vertical farming is not a subset of organic farming. Organic vertical farming is possible, but so is non-organic vertical farming. Also, "organic farming" refers to farming without synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:13, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

And without GMOs for that matter. Phytism (talk) 11:19, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I've completely reverted 68.236.216.95's edit, as it was plagarized from http://www.verticalfarm.com/. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 02:06, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Vertical forestation[edit]

Vertical forestation should be noted in the see also section. The article needs to be made too. See http://www.progettiepaesaggi.com/inglese/stefano_boeri.htm, —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.243.185.39 (talk) 06:59, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


Long, Tall and Thin[edit]

Consider a vertical farm many stories high, a kilometre long, running east west, facing south (for northern hemisphere) but ony 10 metres wide. Tomatoes grow on a vertical trellis. There are no floors; just metal catwalks at various levels to harvest & access the plants. Sunlight enters the building from the south & illuminates all the plants, because the building is so thin. The plants will capture most sunlight, & a white painted back wall reflects what sunlight gets past the plants back on the leaves. No need for artificial light. Everything just to the north will be in permanent shade, but if it is not farmland it might not be a problem. ----DavidJErskine (talk) 07:54, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Nothing in this article makes any economic sense whatsoever. If these structures were economically efficient, then farmers would have already built them on a smaller scale to prove them. There are NO two story, 100m2 "vertical" farms, so why is there any wasted debate on the fantasy of 30 story city block farms? The thermodynamics of missing blocked sunlight make the whole idea absurd. And thanks, DavidJEskine, for the idea of blocking many stories of sunlight to the land, which will now be unusable for any quality of housing, or forestry, or, obviously, agriculture. --81.152.169.247 (talk) 14:18, 15 January 2010 (UTC)


First off, how would you apply your "if it hasn't been done already, it isn't feasible" logic to the progression of other technology? Vertical farming isn't as simple as growing food by conventional means on multiple floors, it involves a new technological paradigm for farming - S/CEA - which is continually advancing, just like PVC panels are becoming increasingly more efficient. The cost per lumen of LED lighting has (roughly) dropped by a factor of 10 per decade since the 1970s (ie. what cost $100 in 2000 cost $10 in 2010). This exponentially reduced cost to use artificial lights, mixed with the soon-to-be rising cost of conventionally-produced food due to the rise of oil prices, places vertical farming in a very viable position economically.


Furthermore, to suggest vertical farming will now "block light from reaching houses, forests, or conventional agriculture" has simply not be well thought through. Vertical farms aren't necessarily built in the core of an urban area, and aren't necessarily 20+ stories tall, so don't confuse the general issues of building height regulation/sunlight access (which is generally controlled by municipal planning) as a problem with the vertical farming concept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Asmith31 (talkcontribs) 20:33, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

non neutral/conflict of interest[edit]

The opening to this article has lines taking directly from Verticrop's corporate website and thus for obvious reasons comes across as fairly biased (and contains unmarked external links). Likewise in the "First vertical farming installation in Europe" section the section is decidedly corporate in flavor (beyond the broken English which I tried to clean up) and the only claim that is backed with a citation is the 3 fold increase.

There's no citation for the benefits sub heading and its covered later on in the article so I'm also stripping that out. i.e. "Reduces energy consumption" but compared to what? Sticking a plant in ground and watching it grow? Intensive industrial farming? Sxoa (talk) 11:13, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

You could add the {{copypaste}} tag to the top of the article, preferably with the URL for the source page. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 17:21, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Greenhouse type products should not be classified as Vertical Farming[edit]

Someone is obviously getting vertical farming confused with single story indoor hydroponics - I stacked plants ontop of each other in my greenhouse years ago it doesnt make my green house a vertical farm! Vertical Farms are multi-story structures - please re-examine. (Well done to Valcent Products it is a nice piece of technology and I'm sure it will do well). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.240.197.130 (talk) 05:19, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Outside the city[edit]

While I agree with the fact that the farms make little sense in the city and very unlikely produce there own energy (and will need outside sources of energy) it doesn't mean that wouldn't have it's uses. For example:

Gasoline: while the food miles don't have much effect on the GHG removing it form the equation would be a big help in going green as transport is currently a big hurdle if you want to get rid of fossil fuels as not may renewables have the ease of use and energy density. So removing this would give you more flexibility when switching. Also most of the farming equipment could be connected to the grid allowing them to become electric and more efficient (35% ICE to 90% electric motor).

Waste processing: when you think about all the trouble we go to to remove high density nutrients from are sewage surely something that uses them at the same intensity would be a great thing to combine together. Being near the city would also mean that it is much easier to link up the system. This is killing two birds with one stone rather than destroying the stuff (requiring energy) then making it again (requiring more energy again) you simply cut out the middle man and use it as is saving on energy and probably cost. (probably wouldn't eliminate fertilizers but would sure make a dent in the amount needed)

Reduced pesticides: Vertical farming doesn't eliminate pesticides but it would certainly make them more effective. Think about how much less pesticide you could use if it didn't constantly get washed away be rain or leached from the soil. Also easier monitoring would allow you to target the area affected rather than have to spray huge areas.

(NB: incomplete and doesn't flow well will continue to edit later) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.9.109.152 (talk) 16:32, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

So Wrong...[edit]

As someone with a degree in agriculture I see this entire article as a lot of bull, I'll re-write most of the article once I get some time; in a week or two. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 04:36, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Rewriting may not be neccecary, but definitely the addition of some criticism is in order. I see little mention of the energy consumption needed by artificial lighting, operating hydroponics and control machinery. I see little critique on the healthyness of the food produced (as it is comparable to traditional greenhouse farming which is debated in this regard). Health risks for farm workes are obviously present in this style of farming also. Finally, critics of this style of farming propose that while it may add to the overall productivity, it is unlikely to reduce the use of farmland, as it is not suitable for many crops and traditional farming is always more economical. Fulfilling the demand of an increased population, the growth in production is likely levelled by the growth in demand, therefore not reducing traditional farmland. Finally, traditional farmers and farmworkers may be threatened by unemployment, increasing the population migration to the city. Please someone add the criticism section to this article - right now it is written overwhelmingly positive.--146.107.3.4 (talk) 12:30, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

I've Done Some Editing[edit]

Take a look, I'm not the best with words and some parts I left even though they are not the best. Edit what I wrote as you want, just don't delete points/facts please. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 07:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Well I'm still new to editing wikipedia, but I really want to get rid of a bunch of the references, many of them go to websites with blatant lies and BS. The website http://www.verticalfarm.com/ should not be used for this article as it is biased and has lots of incorrect information. So my question is can I delete the references? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 22:49, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Looking at your edits, some of the things you consider lies are pretty easy to believe. For example, one paragraph you removed mentioned reclaiming some of the energy used via biogas. I don't see what's wrong with that. Is it possible you don't fully understand the concept? You also removed a claim about cleansing air, which is uncited, but entirely accurate as far as I know. Your statement that "all plants make oxygen" doesn't seem to have anything to do with any part of that claim. The point is that putting lots of plants where there were no plants before (which is precisely what these projects aim to do) means more oxygen there. 66.68.100.242 (talk) 03:33, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I removed the part about energy from biogas because it is a concept all by itself, vertical farms and bio-energy can be mutual exclusive. The same would go for organic produce, the produce could be organic, or the operator may grow the crop conventionally. Yes, oxygen will be created where it would not have before, but at the same time more oxygen will be used up, mainly by the animals who will consume the food, and by the any compustion for energy or decomposition of the non harvested biomass. Anyways, oxygen moves around the world pretty easily, from sources to sinks. The same would go with plants cleaning up volatile organic compounds, plants world wide do do it. Also, high-tech greenhouses, usually supplement CO2 levels as high as 1500ppm when 350ppm is the normal outside. These greenhouses also require high ventilation, for temp and humidity, which lets lots of the supplemental CO2 escape outside.

The out of touch part, I know was bad, I was just trying to show that the developer obviously has no greenhouse experience, and thus, may(and I believe so) be forgetting many basic principles.

The part about the slurrycarb, ugh, it's not necessary for the idea of vertical farming,and even contradicts other segments of the article. ('buring like coal' vs. clean air and "chemically treating the soil" vs. organic) The operators can use clean water and use peatmoss, coir, or soil like everyone else does.

The way this article seems to be, is that a little sunlight and some capital = lots of food, clean water, and free electricity. Also, I'm not against verticle farming, its just too bad that the original developer missed so many key points. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 23:18, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Oh, also I know I have no citations, but I can't find any peer reviewed journals on the topic, I'll keep looking though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 23:21, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, maybe I overreacted somewhat because my impression of those edits was framed by the first one I noticed, which was the "out of touch" thing.
I had thought the stuff about the oxygen and slurrycarb was related to the fact that these vertical farms would presumably sit in the middle of cities, unlike conventional farms. The slurrycarb was proposed because, in the middle of a city, you have access to a particularly large amount of sewage whose disposal is already a need that the city pays for. This might be a potential extra benefit of vertical farming. Regarding oxygen, I thought that cities were stuffier -- maybe I'm wrong about that -- and that having an oxygen source in the middle of a city, as opposed to the countryside, could make the city air that much richer. I thought the biogas proposal had to do with the fact that since the whole farm is indoors, it's easier to harvest gas from decay without having to move things around as much, and therefore a better option for a vertical farm than for a conventional one.
For the record, I'm not an expert, and I don't have any opinion on vertical farming at all (except that it's kind of nice to see the environmentalists touting an idea that doesn't directly challenge my techno-utopian leanings for once). I could be wrong in any of my assumptions, but I didn't think the author was saying anything about free electricity. The way I interpreted that was that you could gain back some fraction of the energy you put in, and maybe even at certain times and days (when you don't have the lights or heaters on), you could be putting energy on the grid. It wouldn't be anywhere near a net energy gain over the year, of course, but it would be a way to recoup some of the energy spent. (I forgot to log in last time; I was Mr. 66.68.100.242) Xezlec (talk) 01:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Energy needs, photosynthetic efficiency[edit]

It's hard to find proper references to document or refute the feasibility of the vertical farming concept. I suggest that we try and find numerical quantities and see how things stacks up. I believe that in the interest of the analysis we should abstract slightly from the ideas. Instead of considering the specific housing, location and power source of the original proposal, I suggest we simplify slightly. Why don't we simply ask: What are the required electrical power to grow 1 m2 of hydroponic crop type X? And how does this compare to the W per m2 of available renewable energy sources?

The following argument is meant as a sketch. The numbers suggested might not be correct, but I believe the argument to be valid. I have suggested LED lights, and solar panels as examples of technologies. This is just an example.

1. Only PAR light is used by photosynthesis. That is light in the range 400-700nm. around 50%(?) of sunlight.

2. Photons that does not match the absorption frequencies are not fully utilized. x%

3. Photosynthesis can be saturated by to much light (as on a very sunny day).

4. This means lighting condition for photosynthesis is not (always) optimal when using natural sunlight.

5. LED lights can provide "optimised" lighting for growth at 150-300W per m2 at X(<24) hours per day Let's say 200W for 12hours, giving 100W average

6. Yields under indoor conditions and artifical lighting might be 4x(?) of outdoor conditions.

7. 25% efficient solar panels at lattitude with 200W average insolation, giving 50W m2, could power the artifical lights at a 1:2 area ratio.

8. 4m2 of farm land could be replaced by 2m2 solar panels and 1m2 indoor growing area, with the same level of food production

9. Solar panels can be located in sun rich areas that are unsuitable for agriculture

Bj norge (talk) 23:24, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

@Bj norge -- based on my work in hydroponic greenhouses, it is likely that temperature control and nutrient delivery systems would be the major energy users in a "vertical farm" system. It's only after investing energy into climate control and precise delivery of nutrients that the higher yields are achievable. The approach you're taking here would only hold as a comparison if all other variables were held equal. As a thought experiment, imagine (A) a conventional field crop, and (B) a conventional field crop underneath an array PV panels that blocked any incoming solar radiation (with no other effects on temperature etc.) with precisely-calibrated efficient LED lights on the underside. You'd need a complete Life Cycle Analysis to reach the quantitative conclusions you're seeking —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.183.79.92 (talkcontribs) 09:22, 29 June 2010

Undo[edit]

I undid changes by 117.207.23.173. It had left several broken sentences and the edit did not seem well planned out.

Bj norge (talk) 06:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Background[edit]

Hey, the article is getting better, though the background still annoys me for several reasons.

  • The calculation that 13 acres could feed 40,000(2percent of 2,000,000) people is ridiculous, its 40x what the theoretical maximum yield could feed for a brink of starvation meat free population. Really 13 acres could feed about 100 people with a good diet. This nonsense goes to show the worthyness of what the "developers" say.
  • "developed the idea of vertical farming" I would like to get rid of this as the simple idea of vertical farming is as universal as the idea of greenhouses which belongs to no one in particular. also this article is moving quite away from Dickson's ideas, like his carbslurry, windmills, gas chromatography, individual plant sensors and such.
  • This leads to the terrible quote...gas chromatography and individual plant sensors are just ridiculous, no body uses that technology in greenhouses today because it takes a single untrained worker less than a second to do the job of this impractical and expensive idea. also even if it was sensible technology he was talking about, it is not required for or would be differently used in vertical farming. Passionless (talk) 08:28, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Black/greywater[edit]

The article talks about using waste water from urban environments, and I was wondering if anyone knows if this is actually possible as I know that the makeup of the solution is very exact and is thrown out kinda often: "Solution disposal - sometimes, some or all of the nutrient solution must be disposed of. This may be due to salt imbalances, end of a crop cycle, disease infection, or contamination. "(1) If anyone has an article about its use in hydroponics I would like to see it,Passionless (talk) 06:50, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I deleted the water recycling section as it was only about using un-clean water in the vertical farm which is inconceivable, and no sources proved otherwise Passionless (talk) 22:09, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Required land[edit]

So, the article currently states 10^9 more hectares of land are needed to feed the next 3 billion people. This makes little sense as we currently use 4.9^9hectares to feed over six billion...[1][2] I think this uncited number came from [3] where it compares it to 1.2x Brazil's size even though Brazil is 8.51^8 hectares ...though 10^8 would be too small (2.44^9 would keep the ratio of land to ppl). So this is why I removed this from the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Passionless (talkcontribs) 00:55, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

City-Based Vertical Farming -- A New Twist on the Kibbutz[edit]

City-Based Vertical Farming -- A New Twist on the Kibbutz

Vertical Farming is an exciting idea. Much credit should be given to Professor Dickson Despommier of Columbia University in NY, who has promoted the concept of vertical farming. Imagine modern skyscrapers that in fact are vertical greenhouses glistening on the skyline. Such massive modern-day greenhouses would provide high quality produce using state of the art hydroponics. Also in a controlled environment food can be grown year-round.

But why invest in contemporary vertical farming? Beyond just being really really cool, they have the potential to address some very important social problems. For one, the world population is growing. Currently the world population is approaching seven billion. According to demographics, the world’s population continues to become urbanized. People continue to move to cities in hopes of finding better jobs, and for the excitement of the city.

This editorial, goes beyond plugging the vertical farm as an efficient means of growing produce. This editorial promotes the vertical farm as having the potential to alleviate some societal ills associated with the modern city. The city creates an economic paradox of sorts. Cities can be highly efficient places offering many amenities and opportunities, but they do not guarantee opportunity and amenity for all. For example city life is most difficult for those who lack education and skills, or those who are mentally ill -- to name a couple.

Vertical Farming would potentially provide jobs (and housing) to the unskilled and/or homeless. Think of it as an inner city kibbutz. People can live in the same building as where they farm. If they are homeless, they have a place to say as long as they tend to their crops.

But such structures need not be giant homeless shelters -- indeed not. Vertical Farms could provide mixed housing. College students who want to farm as a way to support their way through school could live, work and study. True inner-city farmers could live and farm in modern comfort. Vertical Farms could also be places of learning and research. Such farms could provide a venue to teach farming and agribusiness.

The modern city is a wonderful place, but in the scope of human history, it is recent invention. As a species we learned to survive by means of hunting, gathering, and farming. So many of us today take our food for granted. Most of us did not grow up on a farm, and most of us do not hunt or fish for our food. The city-based vertical farm, on a certain level, has the potential to reconnect disenfranchised city dwellers to their agrarian roots.

In a world where so many things have already been invented and implemented. Vertical Farms could represent a new wave of technology and innovation. To learn more about vertical farming please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_farming.


Submitted by: Robert Grant Nashville, TN Grantrobertb@yahoo.com —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grantrobertb (talkcontribs) 00:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Despommier did NOT invent vertical farming[edit]

Contrary to this article's assertion, Despommier did not invent vertical farming, this method of agriculture dates back to at least as far back in time as the hanging gardens of Babylon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.172.40.13 (talk) 19:55, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done added Hanging Gardens of Babylon Bhny (talk) 17:42, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

The criticism section does not sacrafice viewpoint neutrality[edit]

This section adds to the articles viewpoint neutral credence. It doesn't subtract from it. Why is that section in particular, as opposed to the entirety of the article, tagged? 71.232.16.135 (talk) 12:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I dont believe it sacrifices neutrality the article is far too positive on the subject as a whole and largely delves into who deserves credit for this briliant archetectural solution. In agricultual science circle this concept is far more controversial than newspaper articles and blogs would have you believe. I am personally always having to rebuke some point about vertical farming to people. 50.80.150.100 (talk) 16:45, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

An adequate amount of negative BS doesn't neutralize positive BS. Citation 43 on light pollutions is extremely subjective. For instance, I live in a suburban city in Vancouver which is relatively dark save for two new high rise apartments that have constantly-lit rooves about 3 stories high. They're somewhat annoying, but they don't add more light than the 24/7 McDonald's does. To say that light pollution in a city is a criticism of vertical farming is a horrible overstatement. 174.1.201.1 (talk) 00:37, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm aware the above comment was made a long time ago, but I have to agree with them. The entire Pollution section in the criticism section comes off to me as biased and written by somebody with an axe to grind that is stretching for things to put down. I especially agree with the above comment that the light pollution one is ridiculous. Jamo2008 (talk) 01:08, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Resources for The Plant in Chicago ... http://www.plantchicago.com/ http://timeoutchicago.com/things-to-do/this-week-in-chicago/244389/vertical-farming-comes-to-chicago ...[edit]

http://www.plantchicago.com/ http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/vertical-agriculture-city-farm-back-of-the-yards/Content?oid=2272850 http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/96704184.html http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/the-vertical-farm-the-movie-by-sting.php http://timeoutchicago.com/things-to-do/this-week-in-chicago/244389/vertical-farming-comes-to-chicago 99.181.155.233 (talk) 20:44, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Introduction needs work, Bailey's book is irrelevant[edit]

I don't understand why the introduction discusses who invented what, nor what is meant by "classifications" and "categories". Also, from what I can tell Bailey's book is not referenced anywhere (except by this article) nor does his concept of vertical farming have anything to do with the topic. Unless there is evidence of "debate by contemporary scholars" of Bailey's work I suggest we relegate it to a footnote. Jojalozzo 22:11, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I just added sections which makes Bailey seem even more off-topic. I'll remove it soon unless anyone objects Bhny (talk) 17:31, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Bhny (talk) 17:55, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Confusing[edit]

The article didn't mention the artificial lighting until the end of the long introduction, and I thought it was a stupid idea since the total area of sunlight captured isn't increased. The pictures are also misleadingly suggestive that natural sunlight is used. Any ideas on how to fix this? 173.180.202.22 (talk) 05:14, 16 April 2012 (UTC)