It is the method of growing crops in vertically stacked layers (shelves). It is done in a controlled environment, the purpose of which is to optimize plant growth. It incorporates soilless farming techniques such as aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics. Vertical farming systems are most commonly hosed in buildings, tunnels, shipping containers, and abandoned mine shafts.
Dickson Despommier, professor of Public and Environmental Health at Columbia University proposed the modern concept of vertical farming in 1999.
He along with his students designed a skyscraper farm with a capacity to feed 50,000 people. Although the design has not been built yet, it succeeded in popularizing the idea.
Vertical farming coupled with other state-of-the-art technologies, such as specialized LED lights, has resulted in crop yields over 10 times that achievable through traditional farming methods.
Read more on vertical farming.
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