I’ve blogged before about sky farms, and how I think they’re a truly excellent idea. When last I wrote about it in 2009, it was a mad (yet extremely rational), science fictional solution to agriculture.
Now, as with so much of its ilk, it’s HERE.
I literally just threw my hands up in the air and shouted ‘F**k yeah!’ :)
Singapore has built the world’s first sky farm: it opened this year. And now, it’s begun selling its produce.
How does it work? To quote from the article in which I saw this news:
The farm system, created by the company Sky Green and called A-Go-Gro, is a series of aluminum towers, up to nine meters high, with 38 tiers with troughs in which vegetables are grown. To ensure uniform sunlight the troughs are rotated via a hydraulic water-driven system that needs just 0.5 liters to rotate one of the 1.7 ton structures. With an emphasis on efficiency Sky Green made sure that the water was recycled, eventually being used to water the vegetables themselves. Just 60W of power – just enough for a lightbulb – is needed to operate one tower per day. The company that builds the system, Singapore-based Sky Green, claims that the artificial system is 5 to 10 times more productive than traditional farms.
Admittedly, the produce is still more expensive than the normal, common-or-garden* stuff. But, as its makers scale it up, the hope is that prices will come down.
If nothing else, this is a powerful proof of concept. I’m not expecting them to get it right straight off the bar, but given the enormous efficiencies which could be gained from not having to trek produce over hundreds/thousands of kilometres, refrigerated trucks, increased efficiencies in actual produce growth, as well as not having to use tonnes of land which could be put to other purposes, I believe this technology is a brilliant example of how the future beckons us with arms green both in money AND sustainability :)
Well done, Singapore. Well done :)
H/T to Dane Foster for this one
* Sorry, sorry…
GRRRR. I remember writing about an awesome idea in which vertical farms would grow tilapia as a protein source, and algae, and produce as well. And now I can’t find it.