March 26, 2009
up! dirt farming without the dirt (now do we have time to get horizontal)
carrot city; future urban farming
"the reason why we need vertical farming is that horizontal farming is failing". here.
Well the first thing I thought of was a nice mobile sofa that I could propel down my beds, weeding and picking in my horizontal leisure...but that is not what Despommier means. He means in the soil and his alternative is elite, expensive and sterile: outrageously expensive highrise buildings, stacked steel, chlorine-treated water, pathogen measuring units, chemical nutrients: no rain splatter, insect or wind spread contamination, genetically engineered for the conditions and a rifd tag to trace it to the table. A standardized safety program for fresh vegetables with sterility the standard.
Can we, will we, those of us who farm with nature as close to inbalance as we can fit (where "pests" are prevented and encounter resistances precisely because of natures diversity) can we play those parameters?
What consequences will soiless, sterile hydroponic vegetable production have and how close to it are we?
Check out the April 2 2009 Ecologist article posted by The ETC Group:
TECH RECKONING: Up On the Farm
When the banks collapse perhaps they'll be renovated to veggie towers.
And seawater cooled vertical farm coming soon to Dubai. Something tells me this isn't food poor people are going to eat.