Vertical Farms of the Future

Pushing the limits of ag technology

All in one complex includes automated farming technologies, lab-grown meat, glowing bacteria, and sewage-to-electricity converters that will help vertical farming take off. (Pics)

Vertical Farms of the Future

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

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

 Robotic arms equipped with mechanical noses “sniff” plants and harvest them based on the presence of specific alcohols, a more precise judge of ripeness than color.

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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.

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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.

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

Raising cattle is inefficient-only 3 percent of the energy used to raise a cow ends up as protein on your plate. Instead, scientists will cultivate slabs of meat in the lab from chicken, pig or cow stem cells raised on a diet of water, glucose and natural proteins. To approximate the texture of meat, they will “exercise” the muscle with electrical pulses. The fatty texture of a porterhouse is too complex to replicate, but sausage and chicken nuggets should be routine in a decade.

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

LED bulbs save energy and can be tuned to the specific wavelengths favored by each species (only red for lettuce, for example).

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

 The vertical farm converts 100 tons of sewage into 19 megawatts of electricity.

 

 

Vertical Farms of the Future

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

 

Via Popular Science

 

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