Pros And Disadvantages Of Vertical Farming

IntroductionMany communities in the northern portion of Canada’s provinces and territories do not have access to fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) year-round. Produce shipped to these locations is expensive to transport, especially when items are out of season, and have a shorter shelf life due to additional time spent in transport. Vertical farming is an urban farming technique used to maximize agricultural output in a smaller area than traditional agriculture requires (Crops Review, 2015). Epting (2016) supports the statement by stating that urban farming can yield up to five times the amount of vegetables than traditional faming can using them same amount of land-base. Edible plants that require a thirty-day maturity period using…show more content…Natural lighting is the cheapest source of lighting, however, depending on the facility natural light may not be sufficient for optimal plant growth and artificial lighting will be necessary. Even though there are drought tolerant plant species, the majority do need regular watering so a water delivery system must also be included in the design. Each system must also include a vertical containment system where the plants will reach mature. To fully mature, plants need to be pollinated. In a controlled environment, like vertical farming, pollination cannot occur naturally unless beehives are part of the facility, so it must be done manually (K, 2011). This can be time consuming and many individuals will be needed to complete pollination to ensure optimal plant growth and development (K, 2011). Both aeroponics and aquaponics can grow the same plants: tomato, eggplant, lettuce, kale, zucchini, herbs, strawberry, and watermelon (Halais, 2015; SF Gate, 2017). One drawback of these systems is that they cannot grow produce that requires underground growth (i.e. carrots, potatoes, beets).AeroponicsBackgroundPlants grown by aeroponics develop and mature on a growth medium (i.e. cloth material made from recycled plastic bottles), without the presence of soil, and misted with water and nutrients (AeroFarms, 2017). Figure 1.0 illustrates what AeroFarms (2017) aeroponic system with artificial lighting looks like. Produce at Sky Greens

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