Reach for the Sky!

— Andy Wade —

VerticalFarmlargeBy now we’re all well aware of the of the continuing trend toward urbanization. A projected 80% of the world’s population may be living in cities by the year 2050. As the world’s major urban centers bulge, new challenges arise for the millions living in them. One of the bigger challenges is how to feed all these people.

Singapore, not even on the list of most expensive cities ten years ago, is now the most expensive city in the world. Land is scarce which is why more than 90% of the food in Singapore comes from outside the country. SkyGreen Vertical Farms is working to change that, growing upward rather than outward on giant, three-story high Ferris wheel gardens.

Launched as a prototype in 2009, Skygreen Vertical Farms is now flourishing, bringing cost-competitive fresh, locally grown vegetables to the people of Singapore. Their creative farming techniques include a closed-loop hydraulic system that not only waters the plants, but also powers the Ferris wheel system exposing the plants to sunlight. How much does it cost to power each tower in this system? A whopping $3/month (80 cents US)! Not only does this innovation help provide fresh vegetables to the cities inhabitants, it does so with a much lower carbon footprint than conventional farming.

These are the kinds of innovative ideas we need as we approach the future. Now what if we found a way to install mini versions of these in backyards and on rooftops around the globe! Who’s ready to reach for the sky?