Gone are the days when you need hundreds or thousands of acres of open land to grow crops. The concept of vertical farming is bringing agriculture to the big city. It takes advantage of abandoned buildings and other vertical spaces and converts them into massive greenhouses for growing crops right in cities by the use of hydroponic techniques. Vertical farming is loved by those who wish to conserve resources because it uses far less water and no traditional farm machinery. Newark, New Jersey now houses the largest indoor vertical farm in the world, and this new business is taking off in Chicago as well.
James Dondero noted on his linkedin profile that there is an interesting take on the vertical farming concept in Long Island. Many vertical farms use the entire building for farming with crops being planted on multiple floors. There is a building, however, which has traditional business offices on the occupied floors, and the roof has been converted into a 42,000 square foot farm. Unlike more controlled indoor farms, this one will be subject to the randomness of weather just as more traditional farming is. However, it enjoys the benefits of urban vertical farming by providing fresh produce to local residents in big cities. There are actually rooftop farms all over New York City, but this is the biggest in the city and is also one of the largest on earth. No longer do people need to choose between fresh produce from living in rural areas or living in the big city.