Category Archives: Farming

Farming in the City Becoming Big Business

The concept of vertical farming is slowly starting to grow across not only the United States but the world. The reason stems from the need to feed a population that continues to grow and also limit the travel involved in that food production. In addition to saving money, it also offers local residents food that’s much more fresh.

One of the issues against vertical farming has been the amount of water needed to make it a viable enterprise. However, Newark, New Jersey’s AeroFarms has been able to sidestep that problem due to a root misting system it set up. This aeroponic-designed solution helps use water that combines it with oxygen and nutrients within a closed loop.

The end result is a system that now is able to re-use water, allowing for a 95 percent reduction in the amount needed for regular farming purposes. In addition, the amount is 40 percent less than those used in hydroponic systems. Finally, perhaps the best part of this is that no pesticides are needed.

That’s because all of the growing is done indoors in a warehouse under LED lighting, which means no destructive insects come into contact with the food. The technology with regard to lighting also helps cut electricity costs, which benefits their bottom line.

The 70,000 square foot facility only opened this year. Yet plans are already underway to construct another facility in Newark that’s expected to produce an annual amount of leafy greens that amounts to 1,000 tons worth of food.

Vertical Farm News

With a drought in California resulting in the agriculture industry using up a lot of drinking water in the state and farms posing greater risk to their surrounding environments because of increased use of GMOs and pesticides, many people believe that it is time to rethink traditional farming methods. On Tuesday, April 21, AeroFarms announced that it will be opening the largest vertical farm ever in Newark, New Jersey in an old, existing 69,000-square-foot abandoned steel factory on three acres in the Ironbound neighborhood.

A vertical farm consists of stacked farming plots or planters in a vertical building scenario rather than a horizontal scenario. AeroFarms estimates that this NJ vertical farm will be 75 times more productive to traditional open field farms based on the square footage. It will produce only pesticide-free produce — approximately 2 million pounds per year — while utilizing stacked modular planters, LED lights, nutrient-filled aeroponic mists and plants grown without soil in reusable microfleece cloths. Newlin says that the planters also produce zero toxic runoff and use an estimated 95 percent less water.

It will be also the first step in creating a community and business focused Maker’s Village in the Newark area. The vertical farm will also add 100 jobs to the area.