If you’ve heard the term but aren’t familiar with it, or even if you have some idea and are interested in vertical farming, you may not know what it means. This article will explain what vertical farming is, why it’s a growing interest and trend, and why now is a great time to start your own farm inside a modified shipping container.
What is Vertical Farming?
Vertical farming, also known as indoor farming, is the practice and process of growing crops and produce in vertically stacked layers. It uses controlled-environment agriculture (CEA), which optimizes plant growth using soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics.
Indoor farming has grown in popularity, with the the market expected to grow to a $9.7 billion industry by 2026. The global population continues to increase, creating a greater demand for food; this has been one of the main factors towards vertical farming and a growing demand for more locally sourced and grown produce and crop.
Now that you know what vertical farming is, let’s consider why you might want to start your own farm.
10 Reasons to Start Vertical Farming
1. To Grow a Variety of Crops
Container farming allows crops and produce to grow naturally, regards of location or season. Because container farms are enclosed environments, you can grow various crops without concerns about soil conditions or hazardous weather patterns.
2. To Eat Healthier
Human obesity has tripled worldwide since 1975, with more than 1.9 billion adults over age 18 being overweight. Vertical farming can provide you and your family with fresher, more nutritious, and safer foods. It also means eating more readily available vegetables, leafy greens and microgreens. And if you share your crops, such as selling them at your local farmers market, you’re also helping your community eat healthier.
3. Vertical Farms Conserve Water
Vertical farming uses less water than traditional agricultural techniques. Conventional farms are responsible for 80% of the United States’ total water usage. An average head of lettuce uses 3.5 gallons of water! Depending on the CEA, you could save between 70% and 90% of water consumption, which helps to conserve water usage.
4. To Help Your Community
When you start a vertical farm, you’re starting a local business. You can sell your crops and produce to customers through farmers markets, local restaurants, or even local grocery stores looking to add fresh local produce to their selections. And as your container farm business grows, you’ll also need helpers who can help employ community members.
5. To Join the Local Food Movement
Local food initiatives aim to bring food producers and consumers together to help improve local economies, gain better health objectives, and educate. With a vertical farm, you become a member of the local food movement in your community. You can help promote and advocate for healthier living, sustainability, and more self-reliant and resilient food networks.
6. Vertical Farms Save Money
Starting a business can be expensive. However, it is also tax-deductible. That means you can write off some of the money you make on your farm. Even better, you can also get loans and grants to help you start your vertical farm business, providing you with the equipment to get started.
7. To Offer an Endless Source of Food
We talked about how you can grow various crops that help provide healthier eating habits. This is especially important if you live in a food desert where access to affordable, fresh, and nutritious food is limited or inaccessible. Because you can do vertical farming anywhere indoors, you can provide easier access to food, especially fresh fruits and veggies, so your community can purchase and receive that food.
8. To Farm Safely
Did you know traditional farmers are usually exposed to hazards? They work around farming equipment that can be dangerous when used and exposed to elements that can cause harm, like weather, pesticides, and even pests. Vertical farming helps to eliminate those causes and concerns.
9. Vertical Farms Benefit From Technology
Technology has offered many advantages to farming, including the ability to view data and statistics about your farm through a convenient smartphone or computer app. The same is true for vertical farming. It’s a staple of the industry. CEA systems allow for quick farm checks through a smartphone, which can also control the environment inside the container, warehouse, or wherever you set up your farm.
10. To Supply a Food Desert
“Location, location, location.” That’s a standard saying for real estate agents when it comes to the value of a property which is based on location. And indeed, when people look for places to live, they look at a residence’s location to determine if the area meets their specifications. While ensuring that the physical space for your farm has all the requirements for its operation, you can set up an indoor farm almost anywhere. This is what makes them great, especially for areas that are food deserts.
Food deserts are all over the world, and with the population growth, there is a danger of these growing without proper access to fresh and affordable food.
Vertical Farming Summary
Pure Greens container farms can help you design the ideal turnkey hydroponic farm that is efficient and sustainable. We craft indoor container farms from scratch based on your specifications. Our team of in-house modification experts can help you design a custom container to fit your needs. We have a large selection of layouts, sizes and custom options for growing microgreens, leafy greens, herbs and more.
In this article, we answered the question of vertical farming, looked at the market statistics, and discovered a few reasons you should consider starting your farm. Container farms can be created quickly and in many types of environments, such as containers. If you’re considering starting a container farm, contact us for more information.
Looking for more information? Here are five helpful blogs that offer more insight into indoor farming.