An Organic Indoor Vertical Farm May Be Coming to a City Near You
FarmedHere, a 90,000-square-foot space in Chicago, is not only the first organically-certified indoor vertical aquaponic farm in Illinois, it’s also the largest indoor farm in North America. The farm, which we featured on EcoWatch last month, has expansion plans. The company wants to open 18 indoor vertical farms in cities across the U.S.
"We want to be the national local brand," CEO Matt Matros told FastCoExist. "We can touch 75 percent of the country with 18 farms." At its Chicago farm, they sell their organic greens and herbs grown under LED lights to 200 customers (Whole Foods is one) all within a 200-mile radius of the farm.
That short travel distance not only reduces carbon emissions, it also allows for super fresh and nutritious produce. "If you think about traditional produce, which is grown in California, they harvest, and you're not eating it for three weeks," said Matros. FarmedHere delivers its produce to customers within 24 hours.
Sourcing produce locally also reduces the strain on drought-heavy regions like Mexico and California’s Central Valley, Matros told Tech Insider. Currently, more than one-third of U.S. produce is grown in these regions. For now, FarmedHere's main crops are basil, mint, lettuce and kale.
"If you harvest something and consume it right away, it's far more nutritious than if you harvest something and consume it 14 days later," he said. "Indoor local farms tend to be about 50 percent more nutritious than our outdoor counterparts on major vitamins—A,C, E, niacin, iron—that's mostly just because it's consumed as soon as possible."
Indoor hydroponic and aquaponic systems, which are sprouting up from Japan to Jackson, Wyoming, have many benefits over traditional outdoor farming. They use 95 percent less water and, since the company adheres to organic principles, the plants are grown without the use of synthetic herbicides or pesticides. And due to major advances in LED technology, the company can grow its plants in 30 days—half the time of traditional farms.
"Without the hassle of Mother Nature's changing climate, farmers can enjoy year-round growing seasons indoors, using less water, fewer pesticides and avoid biological invaders that cause diseases like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria," reported Tech Insider.
The company said vertical farming is finally ready to scale, so they are "currently working with real estate agents to find land in cities across the country," FastCoExist reported. And they don't plan on limiting themselves to just the U.S. either.
"There's a substantive need for this," Matros said. "In northern Africa, where there's not a lot of access to fresh clean water ... in China and India, where there's just a lot of people. That's the beauty of this industry. Once we crack the code in the U.S., we can easily just drop these modules anywhere around the world."
FarmedHere, along with AeroFarms, Green Sense Farms and Spread are developing the technology to become robot-run farms. Matros told Tech Insider their next facility, which will be open next year, will employ technology used by the likes of Amazon, which uses factory robots to attend to packages in its massive headquarters.
Vertical farms have really taken off in recent years—even being hailed as the future of agriculture. AeroFarms, which is building a facility in Newark, New Jersey, plans to construct 25 vertical farms over the next five years. Sky Greens in Singapore has been hailed as the “the world’s first low-carbon hydraulic driven urban vertical farm.” Mirai has factories in Japan and Mongolia churning out 10,000 heads of lettuce a day. And in London, Growing Underground is utilizing a former World War II bomb shelter to grow food.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.
- Experts Recommend Halving Global Fishing for Crucial Prey Species ›
- US Court Upholds Ruling on Vast Marine Monument Established by ... ›
A "major" natural gas explosion killed two people and seriously injured at least seven in Baltimore, Maryland Monday morning.
- Fatal Natural Gas Explosion Rocks Durham, NC - EcoWatch ›
- Gas Explosion Rips Through Maryland Office & Shopping Complex ... ›
Nearly 900 people across the U.S. and Canada have been sickened by salmonella linked to onions distributed by Thomson International, the The New York Times reported.
- Meat Producers Issue Massive Recalls after Salmonella, Listeria ... ›
- Salmonella Outbreaks Could Worsen with Decreased Poultry ... ›
- Major Salmonella Outbreak Exacerbated by Government Shutdown ... ›
In the coming days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use its power to roll back yet another Obama-era environmental protection meant to curb air pollution and slow the climate crisis.
- Permian Basin Methane Emissions Found to Be More Than 2x ... ›
- Oil and Gas Operations Release 60 Percent More Methane than ... ›
- 'Extraordinarily Harmful' Trump Rule Would Gut Restrictions on ... ›
- Exxon Now Wants to Write the Rules for Regulating Methane ... ›
By Alex Kirby
The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.
Melt Ponds Crucial<p>"The prospect of loss of sea ice by 2035 should really be focusing all our minds on achieving a low-carbon world as soon as humanly feasible."</p><p><a href="http://www.reading.ac.uk/search/search-staff-details.aspx?id=10813" target="_blank">Dr. David Schroeder from the University of Reading</a>, UK, who co-led the implementation of the melt pond scheme in the climate model, says, "This shows just how important sea ice processes like melt ponds are in the Arctic, and why it is crucial that they are incorporated into climate models."</p><p>The extent of the areas <a href="https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/formation.html" target="_blank">sea ice</a> covers varies between summer and winter. If more solar energy is absorbed at the surface, and temperatures rise further, a cycle of warming and melting occurs during summer months.</p><p>When the ice forms, the ocean water beneath becomes saltier and denser than the surrounding ocean. Saltier water sinks and moves along the ocean bottom towards the equator, while warm water from mid-depths to the surface travels from the equator towards the poles.</p><p>Scientists refer to this process as the ocean's global "conveyor-belt." Changes to the volume of sea ice can disrupt normal ocean circulation, with consequences for global climate. </p>
- Strongest, Oldest Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up for First Time on Record ... ›
- Arctic Sea Ice Levels Hit Record Low After Unusually Warm January ... ›
- Why California Droughts Could Increase Due to Arctic Sea Ice Loss ... ›
Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Putin's Daughter Among Vaccinated<p>The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated and is feeling well.</p><p>"One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing," Putin said.</p><p>After the first vaccine shot, his daughter experienced a slight fever, 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F). Her temperature came down to just slightly above normal the next day. </p><p>"After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high antibody count," Putin said. </p><p>He didn't specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, received the vaccine.</p><p>Russian health authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to receive shots of the vaccine.</p>
Years of Work Reduced to Weeks<p>Russia is the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine. As <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/germany-coronavirus-vaccine-may-only-be-available-in-mid-2021/a-54362065" target="_blank">countries worldwide race to produce the first vaccine</a>, health experts warn that speed and national pride could compromise safety.</p><p>Scientists in Russia and abroad have questioned Moscow's decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people, but Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary trials and that vaccination will be voluntary.</p><p>Russian officials have said that large-scale production of the vaccine will begin in September, and mass vaccination may start as early as October.</p><p>Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, has <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/philippines-duterte-volunteers-to-be-putins-russian-coronavirus-vaccine-guinea-pig/a-54523030" target="_blank">lauded Russia's efforts in developing the vaccine</a> and said that the Philippines is ready to work with Moscow on vaccine trials, supply and production. Duterte volunteered to "be the first they can experiment on."</p><p>"I will tell President Putin that I have huge trust in your studies in combating COVID and I believe that the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity," Duterte said, adding that he thinks Russia's vaccine will be ready for the Philippines by December.</p>
- Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Enters Phase 2 and 3 Clinical Trials ... ›
- Trump Administration Buys up Nearly All the World's Supply of ... ›
- First Trial of Moderna's Coronavirus Vaccine Produces Immune ... ›
A powerful series of thunderstorms roared across the Midwest on Monday, downing trees, damaging structures and knocking out power to more than a million people.