Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Farming In Skyscrapers

Fancy farming trouts while growing carrots amd grapes in your high-rise? Not such a far-out idea, apparently. "In the next 50 years, the U.N. estimates the world’s population will reach roughly nine billion people, and the vast majority will live in cities," writes Alisa Opar in Plenty. The question is, how do you feed them? According to a microbiologist from Columbia University, "chopping down the world’s forests to make new farmland is not the answer to easing potential food shortages," she writes. "Instead, he wants to bring farming to the places where most consumers and supermarkets are—namely, cities," i.e. farming in skyscrapers, aka vertical farms. He and his team "envision 30-story buildings that each take up a city block and grow enough food for 50,000 people per year. It’s not just a way of generating food. It’s a way of dealing with municipal waste, recycling water, and using methane digestion to help a city be sustainable." Ingeniosity in face of upcoming challenges. [more]
[related on L.A.'s urban permaculture]
scan Plenty cover Feb/Mar/07