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This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

You can’t see it on the outside but this old industrial neighborhood is an agricultural Oasis inside this former laser tag arena about 250 kinds of leafy greens are growing in huge quantities to be sold to local supermarkets and restaurants this is arrow farms a massive indoor vertical farm in Newark New Jersey our mission is to build farms and cities all over the world so people have access to fresh great tasting highly nutritious food crops are stacked more than 30 feet high inside this 30,000 square foot space they’re grown using aeroponic technology typically an indoor growing the roots sit in water and one tries to oxygenate the water our key inventor realized that if we missed nutrition to the root structure then the roots have a better oxygenation Eero farm says the root misting system allows them to use 95 percent less water than a regular field farm they also use no pesticides or herbicides instead of soil plants are grown in reusable cloth made from recycled plastic and instead of the Sun there are rows and rows of specialized LED lighting a lot of people say Sun let’s wait plants need Sun in fact the plants don’t need yellow spectrum so we’re able to reduce our energy footprint by doing things like reducing certain types of spectrum the sophisticated climate controlled system cuts the growing cycle in half so crops can be grown all year round but with a much smaller impact on the environment there’s all these stresses on our planet 70% of our freshwater contamination comes from agriculture about 70% of our freshwater usage goes to agriculture one-third of our arable land has been degraded in the last 40 years all these macro trends point to the fact that we need a new way to feed our planet one of the early champions of vertical farming is Columbia University ecologist Dixon de Pommier in 1999 de Pommier and his students proposed vertical farms could feed overpopulated cities while using less land and less water they would also cut greenhouse gases by eliminating the need to transport food over long distances and the idea is finally taking root over the past few years vertical farms have sprouted all over the world including in Vancouver Singapore Panama the UK and around the u.s.

Here at Newark Arrow Farms is building out another new farm in a former steel mill one that’s bigger than a football field once it’s fully operational it’s expected to produce 2 million pounds of greens a year all grown vertically we listen to the plants very carefully to try and understand what they’re telling us and try and optimize all these different qualities of a plant it’s a tough business but it’s one that’s going to stay and it’s going to have a bigger and bigger impact do you think vertical farms will help solve our food production problems let us know in the comments below and check out this next episode to see how this major u.s. city is striving to become zero waste when I started at Recology 23 years ago the recycling rate was around 38% today we’ve more than doubled that so far San Francisco has diverted 80% of its waste away from landfills and its success has been getting global attention thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe for more seeker stories you

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