Crop One, a farming business based out of Boston, has revolutionized the way we understand agriculture. Through their vertical gardens, which involve the hyper-efficient indoor growing of lettuce and herbs, they are taking the agricultural industry by storm, and it seems they have no plans of stopping anytime soon. The company recently signed a deal with Emirates Flight Catering to create a massive vertical farm — the biggest of its kind — in Dubai.
The Sky’s the Limit
The $40 million agreement involves the construction of a 130,000 sq. foot environmentally controlled building, and aims to produce around 6,000 pounds of greens daily. The nature of indoor facilities protects the crops from all the harm and risk Mother Nature can bring. As a result, their products are herbicide-free, pesticide-free, and use 99% less water than it takes to water a field.
The joint venture agreement between the agricultural tycoons and United Arab Emirates on-flight catering service (also one of the world’s largest) seems to bring a wealth of benefits. Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, stated:
“By investing to build and operate the world’s largest vertical farming facility, we secure our own supply chain of high quality and locally-sourced fresh vegetables, while significantly reducing our environmental footprint.”
A Big Leap Forwards (Or Upwards)
Although Crop One is making headlines with their vertical farming success, they are not the only company offering such services. On a much smaller scale, Farmery is providing vertical farming equipment to grocery stores, allowing them to make extremely fresh and chemical-free greens available to local communities.
Plants need three things to grow: water, nutrients, and light. Vertical gardens provide access to these vital components with almost no waste. Crop One explains their process without revealing any details, so it is unknown what their specific blend of nutrients is, or whether they use fluorescent, HID, or LED lights. All we know is that they seem to be getting it right!
It’s refreshing to see technology having an impact on one of the most important parts of living: the food that we put into our bodies. The possibilities of vertical farming extend beyond healthy, inexpensive veggies — they offer a potential solution to world hunger.