Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vertical farming: stupid idea, or stupidest idea?

Article: Vertical farms offer a bright future for hungry cities.

My impression: It seems like it's just another set of wildly Utopian schemes along the lines of Ebenezer Howard's "Garden Cities." Except, instead of returning people to the farm, it's returning the farm to the city. The goal seems to be the same: curing those wicked sinful city folks with some virtuous farming and "green" space (of a sort).

However, if for whatever insane reason "vertical farming" takes off, I will then propose a revolutionary idea: "horizontal farming." It's where you go out to a place with lots of cheap land, abundant water and sunshine from the sky. Then you use the natural dirt and soil to grow lots of crops at very low cost, using machines such as "tractors" and "combines" to save labor. Finally, you ship it off to market using a highly efficient, fancy new technology called a "freight train." This lets you free up all that valuable land occupied by vertical farms in cities, turning it over to be used by much needed housing developments, employment opportunities, schools and parks.

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