Farming is getting decidedly futuristic and increasingly urban.
Just the other day I was writing about a huge meat packing plant being converted into a 93,500 square foot vertical farm. Now we hear via the New York Times of plans for a 100,000 square foot rooftop hydroponic farm on top of a former Navy warehouse:
When finished, the greenhouse will rank as the largest rooftop farm in the United States — and possibly the world, Bright Farms officials say. This spring, Brooklyn Grange, another rooftop farm developer, is set to open a 45,000-square-foot commercial operation at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“Brooklyn was an agricultural powerhouse in the 19th century, and it has now become a local food scene second to none,” said Paul Lightfoot, the chief executive of Bright Farms. “We’re bringing a business model where food is grown and sold right in the community.”
We have, of course, posted on Bright Farms' integration of farming and affordable housing before, but it is good to see more and more hyper-localized, resource efficient models being developed for growing high value, perishable food near to where it is consumed. Sure, the more futuristic versions of vertical farming may still be pie in the sky, but given that airports are even growing food indoors these days, we shouldn't be too surprised to see farms appearing on our rooftops too.
If climate change keeps picking up pace, we may need to start developing agricultural models that can be better protected from the weather anyway. This would seem to be a huge step in the right direction.
Here's a video from Bright Farms on how their systems work.