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SKY FARMING : Urban Farming Goes Vertical


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#1 Arn

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

SKY FARMING : Urban Farming Goes Vertical 

 

sky_farming.03.jpg

 

When I first saw the headline "Farming Goes Vertical" I thought of farmers get more involved in the end process of their products. But this is much more interesting.

http://money.cnn.com...sion=2007091105



#2 No6

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:46 PM

This

It should also turn a handsome profit. Despommier's calculations peg the construction cost of a 21-story vertical farm at about $84 million, operating costs at $5 million a year, and revenue at $18 million a year, based on the price of produce at upscale Manhattan delis.


Doesn't quite fit with this.

With the world's population expected to increase by 3 billion by 2050 - nearly all of it in cities - and with 80 percent of available farmland already in use, Despommier sees a burgeoning need for such buildings.


Unless the hungry, or those living on a few dollars a day equivalent are suddenly going to be given Manhattan size salaries.

#3 DrBubb

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:05 AM

Interesting concept.
Posted Image

"operating costs at $5 million a year, and revenue at $18 million a year, based on the price of produce at upscale Manhattan delis.

Getting product to market is one of the most expensive parts of traditional agriculture, but with a vertical farm, your retailers are just down the block. Despommier has been talking to VCs in both the United States and Europe"

Maybe they can build verticle farms next to cities, in places like Hong Kong
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#4 No6

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:21 PM

Interesting concept.

True DrBubb, but I don't think this is the answer to the population growth that the article talks about. Doubt whether the figures add up to making a profit in those parts of the world where food is most needed. It looks to me like a niche market, I can imagine these type of buildings being part of gated communities in California, Florida, New York, London, etc, but it will be catering (no pun intended) for the elite.

#5 DrBubb

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:52 PM

Farmhouse scrapers
Worried about feeding the world? It’s time to bring vertical farming to our cities, says Lucy Davis.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By 2050, the number of people residing on the planet is expected to exceed nine billion, which represents a population increase of more than 30 percent in just over four decades. Increasingly, people will turn their backs on rural living and flock to our urban centres, and it is predicted that by 2050, 80 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, a jump of 20 percent from its current level.

Columbia University professor of Environmental Science, Dickson Despommier therefore believes that cities need to become more self-sufficient, and he has proposed to bring farming to the city in an upright fashion, a concept he calls vertical farming. Office blocks and residential towers would nestle against ‘farm scrapers’ that would bear fruit and vegetables grown using greenhouse methods.

The scientist estimates that one 18-storey tower could feed 50,000 people – although his solution doesn’t come cheap, as it is estimated that a vertical farm would cost at least US$200 million to build.

The advantages to such a project are numerous, including the continuous production of food (no seasons to worry about), no weather-related crop failures, and the reduction of pollution created by farm machinery and transporting food. In addition, the controlled environment of what is essentially a multi-storey greenhouse prevents the need for pesticides.

A number of international architects have already interpreted Despommier’s lofty agricultural dreams, and their striking designs are a world away from the muddy pastures and battered outhouses that we have come to associate with farming. French-based SOA Architects has created the Living Tower, a transparent structure powered by wind turbines, while Chris Jacobs, the creative director of United Future in Los Angeles, has unveiled plans for a structure modelled after the Capitol Records building that draws its energy from a rotating solar panel.

While the project may have architectural advocates from all over the world, it is not without its critics. One of its most vocal opponents is Bruce Bugbee, professor of Crop Psysiology at Utah State University, who says that the solution to feeding the world’s burgeoning population is rather to manage farmland in a more cost-effective manner – although Despommier counters that by saying, “land is disappearing faster than it can be repaired due to wind and flood erosion”. Bugbee, however, also points out that huge sums would be needed to power such farm scrapers, as they would rely heavily on electricity.

While many countries have expressed an interest in vertical farming, including Germany, the US and South Korea, the opportunity to realise such dreams seems mere pie in the sky at the moment. Even Despommier admits that, “negotiations are still in the preliminary stages”. But if he has his way, vertical farms will soon grace every city skyline in the world, climbing as high as 30 storeys.

If nothing else, vertical farms provide food for thought, and Despommier is confident he can win the approval of the world’s various governments. “When their crops fail due to floods, droughts, insect pests and war, they will come around.”

/SEE: http://www.squarefoo...lk-of-the-town/
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#6 Panas

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 07:13 PM

Doesn't Kunstler say that the traffic will be the other way.....ie from city to the countryside? I would like to know more of why Lucy Davis thinks that people will continue to flock to the cities. I can see it being the case for indistrialising countries but how about the post-industrial ones. I don't know......I am quite confused about the future. unsure.gif

#7 id5

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:35 AM

QUOTE (Panas @ Sep 13 2008, 08:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Doesn't Kunstler say that the traffic will be the other way.....ie from city to the countryside? I would like to know more of why Lucy Davis thinks that people will continue to flock to the cities. I can see it being the case for indistrialising countries but how about the post-industrial ones. I don't know......I am quite confused about the future. unsure.gif


The process of production brought groups of workers together from single farmsteads to large farms, to villages, to towns, to cities, to other countries. Workers produce food, things or knowledge. Servitors also follow the workers. The process of grouping made production cheaper due to the reduction in the dual cost of transport from both the price of the energy and the time to transport.

All of this production requires interaction between people and man is visual, based on pattern recognition. We have a need to see the faces of the people that we are dealing with. Some of the knowledge workers can work from a single location away from the group but they are and will be the minority even with high speed connectivity allowing face to face communication.

These groups will only disband when it becomes financially advantageous to do so such as when this dual cost of transport reduces but the increases in the dual cost of transport is forcing workers to clump together in larger groups. When these groups become too large, the continuing increase in the dual cost of transport forces expensive travel between sub-areas in these groups. The cities self balance in the size of the sub-areas against the dual cost of transportation becoming villages in cities, towns in cities and in the end cities in cities.

The largest migratory force in a city is the servitors who cannot or will not become workers. They will move to the towns on the outlying areas of the city when their standard of living falls to below that of a servitor in that town. This increases that town’s growth and reduces the green belt between the town and the city until they merge. The workers will secure new servitors from a further distance and cycle will continue. All this just increases the number of sub-areas and the total size of the city.

A city will not disband due to the collapse of the largest part of its manufacturing as other businesses will see the large pool of workers and move in. Cities will only disband when the dual cost of transport increases beyond the cost of the basic necessities to such a proportion that they cannot be purchased by the servitors who at that point begin to migrate out of the city.

Excluding the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, IMHO it is the dual cost of transport that is the city killer.

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#8 Tune2001

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE (id5 @ Sep 14 2008, 10:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Excluding the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, IMHO it is the dual cost of transport that is the city killer.


Doesn't the cost of transport increase if you live outside of the city? As the cost of energy increases I see people living closer together and nearer to work/shopping than further away.


#9 cells

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:51 PM

vertical farming is a con.


#10 seismic mark

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 02:41 PM

where do the nutrients come from?

#11 DrBubb

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:39 AM

The 50 Best Inventions of 2009
From a rocket of the future to a $10 million lightbulb, here are TIME's picks for the best new gadgets and breakthrough ideas of the year

VERTICLE FARMING

Real estate — the one thing we're not making any more of. That might be good news for landlords but not for the world's farmers, who have finite cropland to feed a growing global population. The answer: build up by farming vertically. Valcent, a company based in El Paso, Texas, is pioneering a hydroponic-farming system that grows plants in rotating rows, one on top of another. The rotation gives the plants the precise amount of light and nutrients they need, while the vertical stacking enables the use of far less water than conventional farming. But best of all, by growing upward instead of outward, vertical farming can expand food supplies without using more land.

Read more: http://www.time.com/...l#ixzz17N3fXCWl



The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#12 Schaublin

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (DrBubb @ Nov 14 2009, 07:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The 50 Best Inventions of 2009
From a rocket of the future to a $10 million lightbulb, here are TIME's picks for the best new gadgets and breakthrough ideas of the year

VERTICLE FARMING

Real estate — the one thing we're not making any more of. That might be good news for landlords but not for the world's farmers, who have finite cropland to feed a growing global population. The answer: build up by farming vertically. Valcent, a company based in El Paso, Texas, is pioneering a hydroponic-farming system that grows plants in rotating rows, one on top of another. The rotation gives the plants the precise amount of light and nutrients they need, while the vertical stacking enables the use of far less water than conventional farming. But best of all, by growing upward instead of outward, vertical farming can expand food supplies without using more land.

Read more: http://www.time.com/...l#ixzz17N3fXCWl



It is amazing what snake-oil salesmen can sucker the gullible with. Each square yard of the earth receives a certain amount of sunlight per year and no amount of chutzpah will change that basic fact. The multi-storey farming idea is so risible that I am amazed that it is still being peddled. It is not so much that land is in short supply, as human beings that are over-supplied.
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#13 DrBubb

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:04 AM

QUOTE (DrBubb @ Sep 12 2007, 09:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"operating costs at $5 million a year, and revenue at $18 million a year, based on the price of produce at upscale Manhattan delis.


I wonder what the costs and profit margins are for "upscale Manhattan delis"?

Their costs might be 1/2 or 1/3 of end sales prices. If so, this thing would make almost no money,
and if they have some problems, like producing the wrong food, they could easily go bust

The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#14 DrBubb

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:19 AM

QUOTE (Schaublin @ Nov 15 2009, 05:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is amazing what snake-oil salesmen can sucker the gullible with. Each square yard of the earth receives a certain amount of sunlight per year and no amount of chutzpah will change that basic fact. The multi-storey farming idea is so risible that I am amazed that it is still being peddled. It is not so much that land is in short supply, as human beings that are over-supplied.


Agreed, unless they can operate off "ambient light"



The first thing people need to investigate is how much food can be grown from ambient light.

The other problem is the cost of land in a city.
In HK, under-utilised Light industrial space costs maybe 1/10 of what it costs to live in midlevels.

But this space is hardly in a place where people will wander over and pay the prices that they would pay
at "upscale Manhattan delis"
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#15 Silent reader

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:38 PM


http://news.bbc.co.u...ech/8503498.stm


A British zoo is running a "vertical farming" trial, which could produce up to 20 times as many crops as conventional methods.

Renewable energy and recycled water means the system needs only 5% of the typical amount of water, while freeing up valuable land.




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#16 nicejim

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (Schaublin @ Nov 14 2009, 09:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is amazing what snake-oil salesmen can sucker the gullible with. Each square yard of the earth receives a certain amount of sunlight per year and no amount of chutzpah will change that basic fact. The multi-storey farming idea is so risible that I am amazed that it is still being peddled. It is not so much that land is in short supply, as human beings that are over-supplied.

Each square yard of the earth's surface has a certain amount of soil. Vertical farming changes that. Light only comes from overhead between the tropics yet plants grow outside this zone, with their only source of sunlight coming from the side. The further from the tropics you go, the better vertical farming becomes.
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#17 Panas

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:48 PM

If anybody is interested there was a report on this on Countryfile this evening BBC1. Very interesting. Looked at Hydroponic 'gardening' in the city.

#18 nicejim

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 10:38 PM

Thanks.
http://www.bbc.co.uk...ile_07_03_2010/ (UK only?)
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#19 Schaublin

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 11:53 PM

QUOTE (nicejim @ Feb 11 2010, 08:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Each square yard of the earth's surface has a certain amount of soil. Vertical farming changes that. Light only comes from overhead between the tropics yet plants grow outside this zone, with their only source of sunlight coming from the side. The further from the tropics you go, the better vertical farming becomes.


Do some research on photosynthesis and you will understand why the whole concept of vertical farming is in snake-oil territory - much like electric cars as an alternative to oil. Of course the surface area that is cultivated can be increased but the amount of solar radiation in a given area for a given time is fixed. Get it?

As often happens when I post, I come across somewhat harshly - it is just the desire to stop people being duped - those without a basic education, especially in the sciences, are prey to all kinds of schemes which can appear attractive but which can easily be rebutted with some simple maths and common sense.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell. The truth is racist, sexist, biased, unfair and brutal. This is why one day it will be outlawed.

#20 nicejim

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:37 AM

Do some research on vertical farming and you'll see it is not a solution to the problem of limited sunlight, but of limited space. You might be right if vertical farming were intended to be used in traditional fields, but it is not - the shadow cast by a vertical farm does not fall on farmland.

Imagine a block of flats with a window box on the first floor. Will the light reaching that box be diminished if someone puts a window box on the 2nd floor?
If you're hanging on to a rising balloon, you're presented with a difficult decision - let go before it's too late or hold on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?
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