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Growing Food With No Soil or Water or Humans [Aeroponics + Vertical Farming]

Agriculture and the way we grow food hasn’t changed for thousands of years but that is going to change now. With a combination of Vertical Farming and Aeroponics, startups are growing fresh, organic crops without soil or even sunlight.

Vertical farming is the practice of growing plants on vertically stacked layers of bed like structures. Each plant bed can be configured differently based on the type of crop that needs to be grown. Some companies use a foam-like substance to plant crops in, while some directly spray the roots with a mist. The lights are controlled using a special LED to help the plants grow faster.

The basic principle of Aeroponic growing is to grow plants suspended in a closed or semi-closed environment by spraying the plant’s dangling roots and lower stem with an atomized or sprayed, nutrient-rich water solution.

The entire setup is controlled using special Artificial Intelligence systems. The systems are trained using data that is gathered through monitoring each phase of the plant growth.

Startups are now able to achieve 20-30% reduction in overall growth time by just using a combination of a special type of LEDs and mist solutions. Imagine if we are able to grow crops much faster using the same resources, we might be able to increase overall food production of the earth with much less land & water.

AeroFarm Plant Growing System

These farms look straight out of a sci-fi futuristic movie with an indoor food production unit. I think Star Trek can literally shoot at these “Vertical Aero Farms” (as they are popularly called) to show a food manufacturing unit onboard the interstellar starship.

These futuristic-looking farms are equipped with high-intensity LEDs and engulfed by a special air that is rich in CO2 and other gases that help plants to grow fast.

Aerofarms is a commercial leader in indoor farming. They tout their product as free of fertilizers and pesticides. The company has grown over 250 different kinds of leafy greens including spinach, kale, and arugula. The plants are grown without soil or sun in a completely controlled environment. They have optimized their patented Aeroponics growing system for faster harvest cycles, superior food safety, less environmental impact and for obtaining predictable results. The company has raised USD 138 million in funding.  

PindFresh Pipes

Pindfresh is an Indian Vertical Farming startup based in Punjab. It was started by Somveer and his wife Sohila Anand. Pindfresh is devoted to transforming small spaces and plots in and between buildings into usable farm space. The company is striving to bring about a farming revolution in the country. It sells fresh produce and in-house systems. Kale, Green Lettuce, Butterhead Lettuce, and Lollo Rosso Lettuce are the popular offerings of Pind Fresh.

The company also conducts regular programs for training people in societies and schools. It is educating urban dwellers to utilize this technology which demands less water and is free from biological contaminants and pathogens.

Triton Foodworks is a Delhi based startup is using the vertical farming system and hydroponics to grow vegetables and fruits free from pesticide residues. This growing medium is water based that is rich in nutrients. This startup has established over 2 lakh square feet of hydroponic farms that produce over 700 tons of vegetables and fruits.

What do you guys think? Will vertical farms make normal farming obsolete?



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