©2018 by Orzel Black. 

Farming in a Concrete Jungle

If you have snapchat or Instagram installed on your phone, you probably receive dozens if not hundreds of images and videos of your friends, family, and business partners traveling to cities throughout the United States raving about the advances these cities have made to attract more people. Craft breweries, quaint coffee shops, restaurants with fresh new takes on traditional dishes are abound and as long as people have money to spend this allure to live the city life is likely only going to get stronger. Truth is, young people want to live in cities because there are typically greater opportunities and experiences to be sought out. The United Nations has spotted this trend of people moving into cities and projects that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. As more and more people move out of the country and the suburbs into cities, demand will rise for the same fresh foods and materials that are harvested in the country. In fact, the demand for fresh, locally grown food has already begun as consumers become more and more conscious of the ramifications their choices make on the environment.

As you may suspect, when ever there is a demand for something, enterprising people will bring a supply to satisfy and make a profit. Advancements in hydroponic farming technologies and the IoT (internet of things) have made it possible to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in a concrete jungle and there are already plenty of companies doing just that. Infarm is a company that was founded in Germany in 2013 whose focus on “urban farming” has led to modular farms placed in customer-facing city locations like grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and even schools where the consumer can actually pick the produce themselves.

You may ask yourself what exactly is modular farming and how does it work? As is eloquently described by education.abc.net modular farms are “flexible and self-contained systems that allow you to grow herbs and vegetables without the need for soil or sunlight.” These farms are typically container sized facilities that are portable, highly insulated, and custom built from the ground up utilizing hydroponics for irrigation, ultraviolet lights or sunlight to allow photosynthesis to occur, recycled waste for soil and a digital app to manage it all from the palm of your hand at any location in the world where there is an internet connection.

This new technology is making farming increasingly more efficient while at the same time being more environment friendly as most of the waste associated with the modular farms is simply the transportation of the farm itself and the products it produces to the storefront. But then again, business models like that of Infarm will change that by making the farm and the storefront virtually one in the same.

Check out the video below for a look inside. You can also see the video at http://abcspla.sh/m/3023686

#Localgrown #inovation #fresh