Vertical Farming: What SHOULD You Grow?
Cater for your economy, and the environment.
When it comes to deciding which crop to grow, many growers are used to repeating the age old question “is it biologically viable, and do we have the resources?”. Vertical Farming technology aims to combat and cut out the weariness behind this question.
With new innovations and increased coverage surrounding AgTech or Agricultrual Technology, many nurseries are looking to the future to find their answers.
The answer is this: with the right equipment and environment, just about anything is biologically viable to grow within a vertical farming system.
However, just because a certain crop can be grown, it doesn’t mean it should be. It’s commonly argued that vertical growing is not about how much production you can cram in. It’s about growing a crop that is in demand in the global market, and maximising the efficiency of the resources you invest, such as money, light, water and energy.
The global population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, with an extra 1.5 billion mouths to feed and suitable farm land on the decline.
It might seem a long way off, but contingency needs to put in place now, with many horticulturalists and farmers alike arguing that the only way this can be achieved is through the introduction of indoor Ag Tech, into otherwise neglected or disregarded space.
This brings us back to our all-important question: what should you grow? Best practise within the Indoor Ag community states that leafy greens and culinary herbs are your way forward, which traditionally command the highest growth and transportation costs and deliver the highest percentage of wastage.
Focusing on crops with really fast turns (lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, basil, mint) allows you to minimise your liability by never being more than six weeks or so away from production.
Lettuces and Kale varieties have consistent demand across much of the world and throughout the year. Both are very diverse crops, making them interesting to cultivate, and offer to customers.
Economically speaking, every location in the world is going to be living in different circumstances, so it is hard to give one specific solution to the issue.
However, with statistics arguing that the production of greens delivers the highest energy waste with highest costs, it seems a no-brainer to make the production of leafy greens – one of the most widely demanded crop groups – less costly… and more sustainable.
Although, the possibilities do not end here, as we previously mentioned: just about anything is viable in a vertical farming system.
Pharmaceutical companies are turning to vertical farming to ensure the stability of their products, and nurseries are adopting the technique to nurture their crop throughout the incubation process.
Popularity is also growing among Michelin Star chefs looking to expand and diversify their menu with exotic and decorative herbs, with trendy micro-breweries looking to produce their own hops.
Bridge partner with the innovative Belgian company Urban Crop Solutions. With our knowledge of growing in commercial glasshouses, and the incredible vertical farming technology that Urban Crop Solutions provide we have formed the perfect partnership to deliver the highest quality in automated vertical farming systems, light recipes and crop recipes.
Should you wish to find out more about the vertical farming industry or the solutions we offer, CLICK HERE.