Posted on: 17 December 2019
Humans began to change when we switched from hunter-gatherers to an agrarian society. We put down roots -- literally and figuratively -- and started to grow our own food. Recently, however, it has become harder to feed everyone. Large corporations have taken over for family farms, but they still don't produce enough food for the anticipated nearly 10 billion people expected to occupy this plant by 2050. From climate change to soil conditions, we have hurdles to overcome if we want to find a solution that gets the job done. Luckily, there are a few options on the table that seem to be working.
Hydroponics is a popular alternate method of farming that involves little to no soil. The plants are placed in a different form of growing medium, usually gravel or perlite and fed with an enriched water that filters through the growing medium. In fact, many hydroponic farms thrive on the fact that the plants can be stacked vertically on growing trays, allowing for more food to be produced in less square footage.
This system has been adopted for both commercial and home use. In fact, Disney World in Orlando, Florida supports many of their restaurants using a similar system. They even offer tours so guests can see this amazing and sustainable farming solution of the future up close and personal.
Indoor Automated Farm
A twist on a hydroponics system is an indoor automated farm. Instead of being located in a greenhouse or out-of-doors, an indoor automated system is located in a fully enclosed space, often devoid of sunlight. Proponents of this type of farming want to control of every aspect of the plants' development in a climate-controlled space, from CO2 levels in the air and nutrient level in the water to the type of growing medium and even the harvesting methods. The food at many indoor automated farms is actually harvested by robots.
Another viable solution to future food production is aquaponics. Instead of growing food in a soil-less, alternative growing medium, like hydroponics, aquaponics grows food directly in water. Standing water, however, often produces algae. This is where the genius of aquaponics really shines. As a closed loop system, aquaponics also raises fish, usually tilapia. The fish eat the algae and, in turn, the plants consume the nitrogen-based waste that the fish produce, creating a symbiotic relationship for food production.
As the world continues to change, farming continues to adapt. Hydroponics, indoor automated farming, and aquaponics all represent the wave of the future in feeding our planet.
To learn more about indoor automated farm solutions, contact a local resource.Share