In the late 1990’s Dr. Dickson Despommier began working with ideas of vertical farming, where urban areas began the process of incorporating indoor grow centers for fresh produce. To most, this was an unfathomable idea and considered both foolish and financially spendy. However, since then this concept has been put to use all over the world and vertical grow centers have been built to provide fresh food in populated urban areas.
There are many positive attributes to indoor growing techniques to minimize waste and help keep produce cost production equitable. Recirculated water from hydroponic grow system provides water for double the plants and also keeps agricultural runoff from occurring. Gray waters can then also be used for non-edible plants as well. Using grow lights, indoor crops also grow twice as fast, meaning production can be doubled and costs reduced.
With the reality of climate change taking place in some areas, changing weather patterns, and growing populations, vertical farming provides an outlet for adaptability in new environments for a measurable amount of self-sustainability. Vertical farming is literally “here”, and can be found in greenhouses built into office buildings to provide food for their cafeterias in almost every major city around the world as just one example of its use.