Alternative Farming



It allows us to produce ecological [resources] with clean air and water inside urban environments,

even major cities, cutting costs and environmental damage by eliminating transportation

and deliver directly to consumers.







Vertical Urban Farming – No Transporting long-distance needed

The question is where will we grow our food when 80 percent of the population will reside in urban centers and the population will increase by about 3 billion people. As per an estimate, this will happen by 2050. The answer is vertical farming. Many stories high, and consuming less water and fossil fuel for farming, vertical farm is a concept of growing crops in skyscrapers right in the heart of the urban centers. Vertical farm will also be movable and can be transferred from one location to another by dismantling it.


The concept is that there will be vertical support columns on the ground and tracks will be created for cultivation of plants. Vertical farm will be divided into various towers. At the base of each tower there will be silos and plastic shafts will be used to transport the harvested crops to the respective silo.


Vertical farm is surely a green revolution as it is comparatively cheaper and easy to maintain. It also has green features with optimum utilization of space for utilities, living, maintenance, and storage. Food and energy is produced without effecting the environment drastically also helping the environment as the living biomass help reducing carbon dioxide and humus are used for fertilization. Well, most definitely green concepts like vertical farming ensures us towards a greener future.









Vertical Farming / Farmscrapers


Whenever it comes to vertical farming, people mostly envision high-rise ...


Eco Factor: Skyscraper with a rooftop-based ecosystem. Whenever it comes to vertical farming, people mostly envision high-rise buildings where veggies are grown at different levels. Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter have a different thought to vertical farming, where structures won’t just grow lettuce but also comprise houses, offices and other complexes for which skyscrapers are commonly built. The green area will be centered around a rooftop-based ecosystem that will sustain and enrich the structure.







Design Concept of Vertical Farming


Vertical farms, what is that?


Well, Vertical farming or skyfarming as it is also known as, is a theoretical form of agriculture which can be done in urban high-rises. In these farmscrapers (high-rises) food such as vegetables, fruit, fish, and even live-stock can be raised by using greenhouse growing methods. Ingenious idea! Despite concerns over exorbitant costs, Dickson Despommier, an environmental health expert in New York is convinced the world has the know-how to make the concept a reality.







Vertical Farming with Wind Power Turbines

Seems like we are really hard pressed for land these days and people have decided to expand vertically not just for homes, but also for farms. Hence the concept of vertical farming and people are trying pretty hard to try and come up with a design for vertical farms that will be more acceptable and practically useful across the globe. The Dallas Skyfarm is one such design that tries to localize the idea of vertical farming to get the best out of green energy.

Read More About it. Click Here







Eco Agriculture: Pyramid Farm – Vertical Farming reinvented


Designed by Eric Ellingsen and Dickson Despommier, the Pyramid Farm is a self-sufficient ecosystem that does what other vertical farms are intended to do, but the difference here is that apart from raising vegetables and fruits indoors, the ecosystem utilizes waste to produce fish and poultry as well. The design is so efficient that it would just use 10% of the water and five percent of the land needed by farm fields.


Click Here to find our more Information






Plantagon: A Massive Geodesic Dome Spiraling Farm for the Future


Lots of cities have farmers markets, but most -- if not all -- of the produce comes from rural farmers that use oil-intensive methods of transportation to cart around their food. With 80% of all people on the planet projected to live in cities by 2050, food production will have to move into cities if it is to remain cost-efficient. A Swedish-American company called Plantagon has conceived of an incredible solution: a massive urban greenhouse contained within a geodesic dome. The vertical farm, which consists of a spiral ramp inside a spherical dome, is currently in the development stages.


Urban Farm Magazine


Click Here







The World's First Commercial Vertical Farm Opens in Singapore


The dense metropolis of Singapore is now home to the world’s first commercial vertical farm! Built by Sky Greens Farms, the rising steel structure will help the city grow more food locally, reducing dependence on imported produce. The new farm is able to produce 1 ton of fresh veggies every other day, which are sold in local supermarkets.


The world’s first commercial vertical farm will provide a fresh new source of sustainable produce for Singaporeans. The tiny country currently produces only 7% of its vegetables locally, driving a need to buy from other countries. But thanks to the new vertical farm, citizens can eat locally produced goodies – available exclusively at the FairPrice Finest supermarket.

The farm itself is made up of 120 aluminum towers that stretch thirty feet tall. Looking like giant greenhouses, the rows of plants produce about a half ton of veggies per day. Only three kinds of vegetables are grown there, but locals hope to expand the farm to include other varieties. The farm is currently seeking investors to help build 300 additional towers, which would produce two tons of vegetables per day. Although the $21 million dollar price tag is hefty, it could mean agricultural independence for the area.

The vertical farm veggies have become a big hit with the locals too. Although the produce costs 10 to 20 cents more than other veggies at the supermarket, consumers seemed eager to buy the freshest food possible – often buying out the market’s stock of vertical farm foods. This innovative vertical farm could help change the way the world eats, giving dense cities an opportunity to grow food in their own back yard.






Dickson Despommier,

author of "The Vertical Farm",




The Father of Vertical Farming -   (  mins)


Dickson Despommier, author of "The Vertical Farm", on the concept, what it might look like and the eco-cities of the future.



SKYSCRAPER FARMING: Farming reaches to the sky


The New York Magazine article describes the work of Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental sciences and microbiology at Columbia University. He talks about the vertical farm concept, which we previously covered on Inhabitat, that attempts create spaces in the city where farming can occur, thus repairing the world’s damaged ecosystems currently used by this activity. Concepts like these are important, as he likes to point


out, by 2050, the planet’s population will require a new farming area the size of Brazil, which couldn’t possibly be provided based on existing farmable areas, and thus the need for new areas from where to obtain food.
A concept design of a skyfarm was profiled for the article. It shows the process by which food would be grown as well as the systems required to make such a building work. In the particular showcased design, the vertical farm would use solar and wind power to obtain it’s energy, water collecting units and a black-water treatment system as well as an optional biofuel generating power plant. The design that he proposed allows for an automated system to select the crops when they are ready for picking.
With the emphasis on locally grown food, the importance of creating spaces within the city is a goal worthy of pursuing and we hope that someone decides to try one of these concepts soon. 








Designing the Vertical Farm ( 8 mins)


Four Architects describe their Designs for the Vertical Farms of the Future

A vertical farm is a building designed for growing food in cities. Though none has yet been built, architects from around the world have latched onto the idea, submitting designs for what the vertival farm of the future might look like.








The Future of Farming





A Farm For The Future (BBC Documentary)


Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key.

With her father close to retirement, Rebecca returns to her family's wildlife-friendly farm in Devon, to become the next generation to farm the land. But last year's high fuel prices were a wake-up call for Rebecca. Realising that all food production in the UK is completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel, particularly oil, she sets out to discover just how secure this oil supply is.

Alarmed by the answers, she explores ways of farming without using fossil fuel. With the help of pioneering farmers and growers, Rebecca learns that it is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low-energy future.





A new rooftop farm in the heart of Los Angeles




Futuregrowing - Vertical Aeroponic Farm













Urban Oasis a Tampa  Vertical Towers Hydroponic Containers Farm - The Farm of the Future   (  4 mins)


See how this urban farm grows a wide variety of seasonal vegetables in vertical towers and learn how you can grow your own veggies in your own back yard.








GARDEN TOWER Project  -  Composting + 50 Plants = Fresh Food Anywhere.


The revolutionary composting vertical food garden that transforms your kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer for fast, abundant growth


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Innovative Garden System Lets You Grow Wherever You Go


Think a home garden is only for people with green thumbs and big backyards? Think again, urbanites: Thanks to Earth Starter's Nourishmat, growing fresh produce and herbs is as easy as laying out a mat.

The Nourishmat Garden System, a 4-by-6 mat with a planting grid and built-in irrigation, was designed in 2011 as a way to make home gardening simple and accessible to anyone with a few square feet of space and a desire to eat better.

"The Nourishmat is an easier way for people to grow food," said Phil Weiner, Earth Starter co-founder and CEO. "There's so much free gardening information out there. [We wanted] to synthesize that information into a multisensory, intuitive, colorful product that the typical American consumer would want."

In addition to providing complete planting guides for different regions of the country, Earth Starter creates pre-planted seedballs packed with nutrients and non-GMO seeds for a variety of produce and herbs. All you need to do is plant the seedball in the corresponding space on your Nourishmat, water it, and watch it grow. No digging, tilling or guesswork required.

After designing and testing the prototype themselves, Weiner and Gorby created a workable model in early 2012 and self-funded a year-long beta test, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the 300 testers in 22 states. The Earth Starter co-founders then entered and won the Cupid's Cup national business competition in April 2013, which allowed them to roll out a limited amount of Nourishmats, smaller Herbmats and seedballs. Though crowdfunding, the company recently raised more than $100,000 to create even more products and spread its gardening tools and knowledge to local schools and food-insecure urban areas.






The word hydroponics comes from the latin word “hydros”, meaning water, and “ponos”, meaning labor.


Simply put, hydroponics means water working, or growing plants in a water and nutrient solution that eliminates the need for plants to search for nutrients in soil. Hydroponics is often referred to as “dirtless farming,” or the art of growing plants without soil.





Hydroponics with Gravel


Why grow plants without soil?

 In growing plants in a traditional soil-based setting, plants develop a huge root system.


that takes up much of its energy. It needs that root system to search the soil for food and water. In hydroponic farming, the same nutrients that a plant would find in the soil are fed directly into the root base. This eliminates the need to use energy to maintain a large root system, and instead allows the plant to redirect its stored energy into producing foliage, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The plants in our hydroponic system are grown in pots that are stacked vertically and use a medium of 80% pine bark and 20% peat moss topped with coconut fiber. This medium is simply used to retain moisture and holds no nutrients. All nutrition comes from a combination of water and nutrients delivered through a drip system up to 4 times a day. The strength and pH of the solution is closely monitored so that each plant receives just the right amount of food. The result is faster, larger growth and a much higher yield of fruit. Hydroponic fruits and vegetables are often larger, tastier, and more nutritious because each plant is receiving exactly what it needs, in the right proportions, in a more efficient manner than soil-based planting.






Rooting a plant in Water



How Hydroponics Works


The most basic form of hydroponics is placing a cut plant in water and hoping that it will grow roots to later be planted in the soil.


In hydroponics plants are grown entirely without soil. The nutrients that the plants normally take in from the dirt are instead dissolved in water, and depending on the type of hydroponic system used, the plant’s roots are either suspended in, flooded with or sprayed with the fertilized solution, providing the food and water the plant needs to thrive.






Off-Grid Self-Watering Container Gardening System: The Ultimate Container  ( 9 mins)


Now that you have the basics of this system by watching the first two videos I share with you my "ultimate container". I don't know of a better container to produce more food in less space than this ultimate container. Due to many reasons including the variations of plants, the density of planting and the ability to stack these containers make them the ultimate container for container gardening. Imagine being able to grow forty plants in a one foot area! 










Homemade Self Watering Container Gardening Construction using a Rain Barrel  ( 5  mins)






The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler  ( 1 mins)

If you are concerned about building an above ground greenhouse due to the fact that you would have to run electricity to the building to heat/cool it, you need to consider the earth berm concept. The earth berm concept is so painfully smart, why are not more people practice this?

The author seems to be just about the only person around advocating earth-sheltered greenhouses. The concept is simple, the book supporting the concept is from the author's personal experience.

This book also solved the problem of a location for vermiculture and where to house the chickens I am soon to get for the winter.


How much Heat can our 4000 cubic feet Solar Heated Dome Greenhouse store in the soil under the greenhouse?
Carl LaFresnaye

In order to get more water vapor in the air, heat must apply. In our Solar Heated Dome Greenhouse the heat will be in the form of direct radiation from the sun. When sun shines on the Greenhouse, water from the greenhouse soil will go into a water vapor state. As the air vapor state increases, we say that it is getting more Humidity.

To condense water vapor back into water, the heat must be extracted (given up) from the water vapor. This explains why a glass of glass “sweats” when sitting in hot moist air. 








High Tech Greenhouse  ( 3 mins)


Originally Aired on CHAT TV (Dec 10, 2009)








Solar Heated And Cooled Greenhouses  ( 2 mins)


Slideshow of Solar Greenhouses heated and cooled by the Subterranean Heating and Cooling System featured at








‘Homegrown’ The 21st Century Family Farm - Documentary


The Film


HOMEGROWN follows the Dervaes family who run a small organic farm in the heart of urban Pasadena, California. While “living off the grid”, they harvest over 6,000 pounds of produce on less than a quarter of an acre, make their own bio diesel, power their computers with the help of solar panels, and maintain a website that gets 4,000 hits a day. The film is an intimate human portrait of what it’s like to live like “Little House on the Prairie” in the 21st Century.







High-tech heat exchangers and air purification systems. >>??


Environmental Repercussions !!!!



National Geographic - infrared showing heat loss from NYC buildings



Heat islands: Cities heat quickly, cool slowly...


Land Heat -

A thermal satellite image of New York City captured by NASA’s Landsat satellite on August 14, 2002 at 10:30 a.m., shows the locations of the warmest air temperatures as seen in red. The blue indicates areas with cooler air temperatures.



Excess Heat From Big Cities Found to Raise Temperatures Over 1,000 Miles Away

A new study has found that the waste heat generated by cities could affect temperatures over a thousand miles away. The heat produced through transportation, heating and cooling units and other sources within major cities in the North Hemisphere causes winter warming across large areas of northern Asia and North America. According to researchers from the University of California, Florida State University and National Center for Atmospheric Research, some remote areas have experienced temperature increases of one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).


... Cities absorb more solar energy during the day and are slower to release it after the sun sets, making for uncomfortable nights and no real relief from the heat. And because they haven’t cooled down as much overnight, mornings are warmer and the thermometer goes right back up when the sun starts beating down the next day.

Scientists have known for years about so-called heat islands, urban areas that are hotter than the less-developed areas around them. ... 









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