Taking Sustainable Farming Vertical

Taking Sustainable Farming Vertical
Staff Writer
From foodtank.com, by Lorena Galvan

In May, the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) completed a successful, and first ever, international Vertical Farming Innovation Award, sponsored by Illuminex and powered by Thought For Food. The #AVFaward brought in 100 design concepts from 25 countries, leading to one submission winning the US$5,000 Innovation Prize for Vertical Farming 2016.

That fortunate team was Inter-Farm-Market, hailing from Malaysia, which proposed a new way of thinking about architecture for public spaces and how they connect with our food system. Their vision for new community facilities was designed to feature vertical farms that supply a fresh produce market and is complete with support from office spaces, retail shops, and a training center.

Inter-Farm-Market Concept Design

The Inter-Farm-Market design utilizes different growing environments such as the roof, interior, and basements, lending itself the capacity to grow a variety of produce with 230-percent increase in productivity. From salad greens to mushrooms, strawberries to ginger, and many more produce varieties to come, one-stop shopping for exclusively local produce is almost here.

Inter-Farm-Market and the 2nd and 3rd place teams, VeGan from the Netherlands and imPACKt Farm from Spain, respectively, presented their concepts at the AVF Summit on June 13 in Amsterdam.

While there are many ways to increase access to local food security, the ideas submitted into the Vertical Farming Innovation Award offered fresh perspectives on the potential of vertical farming to create significant impact in our communities and mindsets about conventional food production.

"There was a disconnect in that vertical farming had tremendous benefits for so many of the challenges traditional agriculture was facing, but no one really knew about it. I wanted to show people this technology was available and profitable today,” says Max Loessl about his passion for vertical farming. In 2013, Max Loessl and Henry Gordon-Smith co-founded the Association for Vertical Farming. Today, AVF is an international nonprofit organization comprised of individuals, companies, research institutions, and universities focusing on advancing vertical farming technologies, designs, and businesses.

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