I prefer to grow food in the dirt without using pesticides, chemicals fungicides and tricks to make a vegetable grow bigger or faster. I still remember what a chicken used to taste like when it took thirteen to sixteen weeks to grow them for consumption, not the six to eight weeks it takes now.
Although the dirt is my preference I am still interested in all ways of producing a harvest. I have learnt quite a bit about aquaponics, hydroponics, aeroponics, bio-dynamics, permaculture, hugulculture and many other systems including vertical farming.
All of them look at different ways to improve the production of food. I must admit that I get a little envious when I see hydroponic vegetables in the supermarket and know that growing hydroponically in a controlled environment makes it much easier to look after your plants and also keep the produce clean. Now days, presentation of your produce as perfect and blemish free is a big drawcard for consumers.
I get The Hustle, a curated daily news email that concentrates on snippets of information for all things business and techy. It’s short, in a quirky style and always has something worth reading. Indoor vertical farming caught my eye and once I read it and watched the video, I thought it may be of interest to readers.
It is a summary of an article from Reuters about Aero Farms and how they are growing food in warehouses. It is hydroponic style with artificial light tuned to the best wavelength for optimum plant growth. The improvement in LED lighting and low operating costs has made it viable economically. Plus they can halve the growing time.
Here’s the catch with indoor farming.
As stated, I prefer growing in the dirt. Although more difficult, I believe that the biological processes involved with growing plants in the dirt and exposed to the rhythms and cycles of sun up, sun down, seasons, daylight and rain imparts a quality and vitality to plants that so far hasn’t been equaled. The plant consumer benefits from the vitality they receive as a gift from the plant.
But there are also benefits from all the research on different methods of cultivation. Primarily it is entrepreneurs trying to gain an edge that will set them apart from the competition giving them a selling advantage. Ultimately though, it will allow us to travel beyond the boundaries of earth.