With Plenty’s vertical farming, the sky’s the limit. Or … the ceiling is.
The company claims its high-tech, indoor farming solution is perfect for feeding future families fresh fruits and veggies no matter the season or climate outside. In an increasingly resource-limited world, this may well be the future of agriculture.
Plenty sees towering walls of greens, fed with bright LEDs and nutrient rich water while being monitored by attentive computers and robots, as “a whole new field of farming” capable of addressing unsustainable agricultural practices, food deserts, and the threats that a changing climate presents to our food systems.
The company’s pesticide-free greens use a small fraction of the land and water that more traditional farms take up. In fact, Plenty says that an acre of its vertical growing system yields 350 times more produce than a conventional farm’s acre would, all while saving a million gallons of water per week throughout the entire complex.
Agriculture and climate change are inextricably linked. The vast amounts of land and water required to feed the world, the planet-overheating gases expelled by livestock, and the destruction of forests to make room to grow more food all have a negative impact on our environment.
It’s also important to note that as the Earth’s climate changes, farmland that was once perfectly suited for crops may become less productive. This puts people all over the world at risk. Increasing the efficiency of farming is at the center of Plenty’s business.
Plenty’s vertical farming intends to stand out even among other indoor farming operations. The company claims its system produces double the yields of competitors that use horizontal beds to hold plants.
Because Plenty’s crops and lights stretch from floor to ceiling in columns, plants are able to use as much light as possible to grow. The company is making this system modular so it can be easily set up anywhere and quickly get to work feeding hungry populations.
The high-tech farms cut down on transportation by selling locally, which reduces fuel demands for transporting food and boosts shelf life. The company thinks these systems are perfect for combating food deserts, where regions and populations don’t have access to much affordable, healthy food, due to systemic inequalities or geographical location.
Plenty is working on expanding to the East Coast, where it plans to build the largest indoor vertical farm in the world near Richmond, Virginia.
The company is still working to provide equitable access to fresh produce with projects like its Compton farm. And a “Mr. Crispy” might be driving around in a produce delivery truck soon, according to Plenty.
The company is on a self-proclaimed mission to “grow plenty of fresh food for everyone, everywhere,” and is spreading its roots to do so.
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