Vertical farming is a farming procedure that involves the production of food in vertically arranged layers. The layers are ordinarily joined to mimic other arrangements like the towers, repurposed warehouses, and shipment containers. Vertical farming utilizes Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) know-how, which employs inside farming practices.
The main goal of vertical farming is to optimize crop returns in a limited area. Crop production under vertical farming is actualized by the ability to regulate crop factors for growth such as light, humidity, temperature, and gases.
Vertical Farming Processes
The processes of commencing vertical farming are greatly dependent on the farming technique the farmer has implemented. If you consider vertical farming for commercial use, you must equip yourself with knowledge of the various farming approaches. The different vertical farming processes comprise:
- Aeroponics: It is a procedure that encompasses gushing water that is rich in nutrients to the roots system of the partially grown plantlets. The partly grown plantlet is suspended over any chosen medium. The water sprayed on the root system acts as a substitute for pure water, and the roots have to be sprayed regularly. The environment has to be moisture-filled to facilitate the growth of the plants.
- Hydroponics: It is a farming procedure where the plantlets are integrated into any planting medium, which is not soil. The mediums, which are a substitute to the soil, can be things like sand, gravel, coconut fiber, or coconut peat. A liquid rich in nutrients is then made available to the plants through the end of the rooting system.
- Aquaponics: It is a vertical farming technique where fish are incorporated into the farming process. Not many people employ aquaponics because of the double task of maintaining the fish together with the crops. The farmer places the plants in any porous medium, which is suspended above the water body of mature fish. The plants benefit from the fishes’ excreta which is rich in ammonia plus nitrate. Through the uptake of the nutrient by the plants, the water becomes clean for the fish.
How Vertical Farming Works
Understanding how vertical farming works is vital in ensuring that you are successful in implementing it if you decide to practice it for home or commercial purposes. The whole vertical farming process includes four main areas. These areas comprise:
- Physical layout: The main goal of vertical farming is to optimize crop returns in a limited area, by generating more food products per square meter. To attain this objective, farmers cultivate crops in arranged layers in a structure resembling a tower.
- Lighting: The correct lighting is necessary for the growth of the crops. Sustain the correct level of light in the room by integrating the right blend of natural and artificial lights. One artificial source of vertical farming lighting is the modern LED system. It is optimally appropriate to vertical growing as LEDs radiate less temperature, enabling the LEDs to be firmly packed in upright installations without damaging the plants.
- Growing medium: The growing mediums utilized in place of soil include aeroponics, aquaponics, or hydroponics. The commonest non-soil substances used include peat moss, gravel, and coconut husks. They make vertical farming possible away from the field.
Sustainability features: vertical farming employs various sustainability features in a bid to balance farming energy expenditures. In reality, 95% less water is employed in vertical farming.
Vertical farming is slowly changing everyone’s perspective on farming. People are used to doing farming through the soil medium. However, with vertical farming, farming is made possible with other mediums such as aeroponics and hydroponics. Even as the farming land diminishes with urbanization, it is a relief to know that you can still practice successful farming indoors. The surface area for practicing farming is no longer something to worry about. You can practice vertical farming where you can arrange your growing surfaces in layers and use minimal space in the process.