High Density Vertical Growing: The Urban Solution?

Written by dr. j. Posted in Food

High Density Vertical Growing or HDVG is a crop production method that can Veggiegrow-Oct-10--2007-012grow a large variety of fruit and leaf food crops in a small space. Should there be a problem with land deliveries of supplies (eg. oil embargo, infrastructure damage, terrorism), this could be the answer to providing high quality nutritious foods locally.

Kudos to Valcent for their newest entry into the market. If it can do what they say it can do, it will be nothing less than revolutionary. Valcent boasts that their system can grow food crops  with 95% less water than what it would take to grow the same crop in a field, with a 20 times greater yield  and…it could be grown without the need of herbicides and pesticides. That’s true progress. This could be the answer for urban and inner city settings, providing urban centers with the ability to self sustain with respect to food production.

It also provides food of higher nutritional caliber because it does not need preservatives or to be picked early in attempts to lengthen its shelf life. Eating food grown locally is just healthier.

These growing environments do not require a lot of acreage or floor space.  They can be placed in areas that are not good growing environments. Their compact design will lend them to use on rooftops and cramped areas. And they are efficient at producing more from less.  Here’s what Valcent has to say:

 

  • Produces approximately 20 times the normal production volume for field crops
  • Requires 5% of the normal water requirements for field crops
  • Can be built on non arable lands and close to major city markets
  • Can work in a variety of environments: urban, suburban, countryside, desert, etc.
  • Does not use herbicides or pesticides
  • Will have very significant operating and capital cost savings over field agriculture
  • Will drastically reduce transportation costs to market resulting in further savings, higher quality and fresher foods on delivery, and less transportation pollution
  • Will be easily scalable from small to very large food production situations

The only question that remains now is what these systems will cost?

system photo

A couple years ago, Crop King introduced a vertical growing system for strawberries. It was radical. I never thought of growing strawberries that way before as I’ve put in tiered patches before with my father.  This system made sense. It was compact, economical and bird free (those of you who’ve grown strawberries know what I mean). It could keep me in strawberry heaven year round. This means that you could grow strawberries 365 days a year to peak perfection of ripeness in a small space.

And we both know how much ripe strawberries are worth in the marketplace.

Now Valent offers that with their HDVG system. I’m anxious to visit El Paso to see their system in action. I wonder if it could be retrofit for solar, be used with organic or elemental nutrients (like Gen Hydro) or be used INSIDE a Crop King greenhouse system (these are quite impressive).

With a 20 time greater yield than conventional dirt farming, it’s definitely something to think about!
cj

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