Vertical farms are increasingly used around the world because they make it possible to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs very efficiently. Their main advantage is the fact that they are not demanding on space. However, most closed vertical farms use artificial LED lighting, which unnecessarily increases electricity consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions. In the United Kingdom, a new farm has been set up by Shockingly Fresh, which uses natural sunlight.
An efficient vertical farm that does not use artificial light
Shockingly Fresh has built a large greenhouse in Offenham, Worcestershire. He grows millions of leafy vegetables here in a vertical way, which then travels to supermarkets. Its model uses much less water and produces many times more plant production than if vegetables were grown in the field. No artificial heating or artificial light is used here, only sunlight is used.
Nick Green, the development director of Shockingly Fresh, said The Guardian: “This first farm will grow about 2m heads of leafy greens a year – around four times the yield we would expect on a patch of land this size.”
Vegetable production is completely natural
Vegetable production is completely natural, there is less sunshine during the colder months and therefore fewer crops are grown. Even strawberries can be grown in the colder season.
Green said: “Production is not completely linear as it would be in a fully-lit vertical farm. But we do match the consumption pattern of people – people don’t eat as much lettuce in winter as they do in summer. ”
“It is ultimately better for the environment. I can’t say it’s carbon-neutral but it isn’t as carbon-hungry as an LED vertical farm would be.”
Ways are still being sought to grow more crops using less soil, water and pesticides. As a result, there is no need to take up so much nature to grow crops. This farm is a great success and the company has decided to build 40 more. The next planned farm is to become the largest vertical farm in the United Kingdom. Similar projects mean better use of the area for cultivation and less intervention for the planet.
Credit: Shockingly Fresh