City Food: The Vertical Farms Growing Produce Next Door

Episode 5: Vertical farms are optimized around one idea: Growing fresh, local produce incredibly well.
Mar 15, 2021 9:30 AM ET

In this episode, we talk to a wide range of guests about the innovation that drives vertical farming, the sustainability challenges it addresses, and the advances in plant breeding that could take large-scale indoor agriculture into the mainstream.

Multimedia with summary

Vertical Farming: As Good as We Can Grow

We love efficiency. We love reconfiguring a system, creating better outcomes, and in the process, using less. 

This type of efficient design thinking has taken us to the moon. It has slipped entire volumes of encyclopedias into our pockets. And when it comes to growing food and caring for the planet, we’ve been striving toward greater and greater efficiency since the dawn of agriculture. Vertical farming is one more step in that direction. 

Cities are growing, but the natural resources they need are in short supply. Luckily, creativity is not. Inside a vertical farm, brilliant, sustainable design ideas are about as abundant as kale leaves. This urban agricultural trend is creating stronger harvests with fewer inputs, and in some cases, almost zero waste.

Vertical farms are the pinnacle of agricultural technology, but can biology help unlock their full potential?

Vertical farming will never replace traditional agriculture; we’ll always need both. But they do have the potential to help solve some of our most pressing challenges.