Earth Day and Vertical Farming (Vertical Gardening)

Earth day – a case for vertical gardening & farming

Today is a day for reflecting on how much value our natural surroundings brings to our lives.

A brief history of Earth Day

Earth Day came about in 1979, when peace activist John McConnell presented the idea of this special day to San Francisco’s UNESCO Conference on the Environment.

McConnell was insistent on making others more aware of what our natural world provides us with a celebration. He wanted to make others aware of Earth’s bountiful gifts with a global celebration or holiday and his idea received wide support from environmental activists and city leaders.

John McConnell’s Earth Day Proclamation:

“An international EARTH DAY each year can provide a special time to draw people together in appreciation of their mutual home, Planet Earth, and bring a global feeling of community through realization of our deepening desire for life, freedom and love, and our mutual dependence on each other.”

John McConnells vision for Earth Day was not to merely stand up for our environment.

Instead, his description of Earth Day was very much about drawing people together in communities to truly enhance our individual and collective freedoms by reflecting on how important the world around us really is.

At Bright Agrotech, we’re passionate about two things:

1. Providing healthier, more nutritious produce options for our local community.

2. Empowering other Upstart Farmers to grow more food, more sustainably for their local communities.

Vertical farming for the health of our earth

Vertical farming is the outcome of farmers and growers reflecting on how important the world around us is and it’s a means of confronting the challenges our civilizations are facing to grow mroe food with less space and less impact.

A lot of folks wonder about the real goal of vertical farming, and answering this question is relatively simple:

Growing food vertically and utilizing otherwise unused vertical space makes sense.

ZipGrow towers inside a commercial hydroponic greenhouse.

Vertical farming saves space

This is perhaps the most notable benefit. Horizontal farming techniques require vast amounts of space. Bright Agrotech’s Spring System for example, fits 5 feet of gardening into an 18×18 inch plot. Growing up instead of out reduces space use.

Vertical farming is innovative

The agriculture industry is stuck in the past.

Understanding the constraints of traditional agriculture, vertical farmers seek to push the limits of how much can be grown in limited space with limited resources.

As a result, innovation and ingenuity go hand in hand with vertical farming. Enthusiasts constantly improve their methods and ideas, making a more capable farming method, all while bringing their customers higher quality produce.

Vertical farming saves time and water

Growing crops vertically, usually in tower configurations, ensures that water is used as efficiently as possible. As gravity pulls water down the tower and the excess water can be run through again, until every last drop is used- nothing is wasted.

Vertical farming also saves the farmer time and energy. Instead of hunching over to tend, weed or harvest his crops (although usually he’ll have to pay someone else to do so), the farmer simple removes an entire tower from the configuration for maintenance or harvest/transport purposes.

Light weight, single-sided ZipGrow Towers reduce the farmer’s backaches and his (or her) pocketbook’s heartaches.

Finally, as water becomes more scarce – and more importantly to the farmer is the purchase and transport of this water – is a scare and valuable resource. Conserving water is not only important, but necessary.

Vertical farming helps farmers reduce their costs

Two_of_the_newest_Bright_Agrotech_team_members_showing_off_a_nice_tower_of_Amish_Deer_Tongue_lettuce_from_last_weeks_CSA_harvest._We_re_so_excited_to_have_them_on_board_and_to_keep_growing_our_small_company___farming ZipGrow towers reduce labor by 60%. Because they are light weight and handling-size, they are easy to carry and move.

At the heart of the matter is a farmer’s bottom line.

Around 60% of a farmers costs come from post harvest labor and packaging.

Let me say that again… SIXTY PERCENT.

We see an opportunity for reducing that number while increase a farmer’s margins and subsequently, helping him/her live better!

Vertical farming at a commercial vertical farm (i.e. growing food for a living), when used with live sales techniques, aids the farmer by reducing post harvest labor and packaging costs. This not only saves the farmer a great deal of time, but also helps keep mass amounts of plastic packaging materials out of our landfills. What a great thought for Earth Day!

By reducing these costs and material requirements, the farmer is able to increase his profits and live better, while streamlining his operation.

Commercial vertical farmers also drastically reduce their heating costs.

Any greenhouse grower will tell you, growing all year long can be expensive.

Traditional greenhouse growers face space constraints, making each individual plant very costly to produce. Vertical farmers are able to double, triple, and even quadruple how much they can grow in the same space!

Fitting more into the same space allows a farmer to save money on heating and cooling their greenhouse. More produce is grown in the same area; this allows for maximum efficiency in both production, energy and cost reduction.

As you can see, the benefits of vertical farming are bountiful.

So this Earth Day, we hope you’ll take time to reflect on what kind of value the natural world around us brings into your life.

Think about:

  • Who grew your food?
  • Where was your food was grown and how far did it travel?
  • What pesticides were sprayed on it?
  • What kind of natural resources went in to growing your produce and what packaging materials were used?

Let’s use our unused vertical space to grow more food, more sustainably and live better as farmers/gardeners.

Vertical gardeningearth-161819_1280

Vertical farming shares numerous benefits with vertical gardening. Including: saving space, aesthetic appeal, and efficiency.

Home gardening can be a fun great activity bringing a family and community together.

For those who garden at home, vertical farming saves space. Its lightweight and mobility aspects make it a perfect fit inside any home (just add light!). These qualities make it a “movable garden,” which is advantageous to small scale gardeners who need something modular. As mentioned earlier, a Spring System only uses about one and a half square feet of space. Imagine having your own green tower in your kitchen! Right after you harvest the veggies you can begin tossing a salad!

Living walls

A few plants and flowers provide an inviting atmosphere on their own. A flower tower or even an entire wall could completely change the nature of a living or work space. A living wall growing fresh flowers and veggies can increase the aesthetics of any room by adding a splash of bright colors and a breath-taking aroma, not to mention clean air. ZipGrow towers are the best way to grow using living walls!ZipGrow Farm Wall

Many of us are passionate gardeners. For us it is more than a mere hobby. Growing vertically yields many benefits but is also a unique conversation topic. Its not just an interesting, hypothetical idea, it is a reality that you can share with the people around you.

Even small garden plots require time, energy and resources. Vertical farming reduces those. With good design, labor and maintenance can also be reduced by gardening vertically.

Whether you are a gardener, farmer, or someone who stumbled here out of curiosity, celebrate Earth Day 2013! Reap the benefits of growing up instead of out.

Start a vertical garden and save time, water and space!

Have a great Earth Day!