If you have seen it The Martian you know how hard it is to grow food on mars. Almost everything about the Red Planet makes it an agricultural hospitality destination. Even if you coax the plant out of nutrient-poor soil, it will take time for the sprouts to succumb to the cold or lack of available water.
Mark Watney – played by Matt Damon in the film – survives by eating potatoes grown in an airtight dome made of his own excrement.
Watney’s experiment is very similar to vertical farming. Not human waste so much, but the idea of growing plants in a way that doesn’t fit the environment. “What could work on Mars could be very beneficial for the world today. We don’t have to wait for the Mars event. We need this kind of agriculture on Earth,” said Arnavaz Schatten, director of sustainability at the Berlin-based agricultural company InFarm, speaking at WIRED Impact November. In vertical farms, crops are grown without soil under artificial lights in a setting that uses less water, soil, and pesticides than conventional agriculture. Remove plants from their habitat and we can greatly reduce the environmental impact of our food. (Which, by the way, it is big.)
That’s the idea, at least. In fact, the results of vertical farming depend on the type of crops we are talking about. Currently InFarm mainly grows herbs, green vegetables, and salad greens. This is a good place to start vertical gardens because they grow fast and the prices are high, but they make up a small part of the food grown in the world. Next on the list of InFarm’s products are strawberries and mushrooms, but the results will come from the production of the most popular crops such as wheat, soybeans, and corn. A few crops take up a large part of the land and the economy. Bring it back that plants in the house and we started to do a lot of damage to the agricultural environment.
Schatten said: “If you really want to solve the world’s food crisis, we have to think about calories.” “Vertical farming should go from the edge of the plate, to the center of the plate.”