"The Vertical Farm," the Movie by Sting

Despommier on vertical farms photo

Dr. Despommier on vertical farming. Photo by Kris Krug courtesy of Pop!Tech 2008

Since 1989, Sting has been involved in protecting the Amazon through the Rainforest Foundation which he co-founded with his wife Trudie Styler and last month played a benefit concert for the organization. He's been involved in other environmental causes like supporting sustainable food, and now he's putting a camera where his mouth is. The performer is producing a film about vertical farming, according to the Deadline blog, starting with documenting the first one to be planted in the U.S. Sting and his partner in the project, manager Kathryn Shenker, have purchased the film rights to The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and the World in the 21st Century. The book by the concept's proponent Dr. Dickson Despommier, a Columbia University professor, will be released in October by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press.


Despommier's upcoming book from Thomas Dunne Books coming to a farmscraper near you.

As described in Treehugger over the last few years, the idea lays out a system of farming in which food is grown within tall city buildings as an efficient means of land use and way to get fresh food to local residents. The book blurb describes this form of agriculture: "Imagine a world where every town has its own local food source, grown in the safest way possible, where no drop of water or particle of light is wasted, and where a simple elevator ride can transport you to nature's grocery store---imagine the world of the vertical farm."

Sting's film will document the first vertical farm to be constructed in a major U.S. city. Might this be in Newark, New Jersey? The city fathers have met with Dr. Despommier, and recently discussed moving forward with the plan if the city donates a proposed site on a quiet block overlooking the Passaic River in Brick City.

Also, last Friday, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced he's supporting plans to establish a vertical farm in Chicago. At a conference in Milwaukee, Daley spoke of his vision for organic food grown year-round in a building near the city's former historic stockyards. The Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center is working with the Illinois Institute of Technology on a vertical farm called The Plant. Located in an old meatpacking plant, the plan will develop a vertical farm including farming Tilapia and recycling the wastewater from the fish tanks for the plants in the building.

Vertical farming proposals as an agricultural solution for world hunger in the 21st century created in high-rises as a sustainable form of urban agriculture has been discussed over the last decade, so whether it's a salvo for all our agricultural and food problems, it seems the climb is on.

More on vertical farming:
Harvest Green: Vertical Farm by Romses Architects wins Competition
Robert F. Kennedy Jr Backs Vertical Farming
Vertical Farming System Among Best Inventions of 2009
Vertical Farms Aren't Going to Solve Our Food Problems

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