Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vertical Farming

Vertical-axis wind turbines are potentially 50 percent more efficient in low wind conditions than conventional turbines.

Ceiling-mounted systems monitor and control humidity, temperature, and nutrient distribution.

Farmers load harvested plants onto a central elevator to be sold at the grocery store below.

Even a few insects or pathogens could decimate the enclosed crops, so farmers entering the building must don containment suits and pass through airlocks. Scientists will coat plants with genetically modified bacteria that glow in the presence of a threatening disease or pest, alerting farmers to an outbreak.
Plants don’t have millions of years to adapt to indoor hydroponic growth cycles, so botanists must select and breed the strains that perform best. Other scientists will blend specialized fertilizers for the plants so that they’ll contain micronutrients essential to the human diet, like selenium and zinc.

Chickens require little space and yield one pound of meat per two pounds of feed—very efficient by farming standards.

Neighbors purchase vertical-farm goods in the tower’s ground-floor grocery store, and electric trucks deliver food to local markets.

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