Monday, August 24, 2009

Vertical Farming Makes Me Smile

What an amazing idea! Imagine: Vertical farms in cities, using soil-less and water-frugal growing methods like hydroponics and aeroponics. Dickson D. Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, has written a fantastic Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on just this topic.

Hydroponics allows us to grow plants in a water-and-nutrient solution, while aeroponics grows them in a nutrient-laden mist. These methods use far less water than conventional cultivation techniques, in some cases as much as 90 percent less.

We'd have beautiful glass-clad buildings growing green and red, blue and yellow, purple and orange fruits and vegetables. These rainbows would help city dwellers get healthy and stay healthy. And what a pot of gold for entrepreneurs, markets, chefs, cooks, schools...!

I thought green roofs made me happy but this takes to a whole new level the combined concepts of green roofs, urban farms, community gardens, and increased access to fresh food. It's a dream well worth having.

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