High Harvest

Indoor Gardening is Looking Up




The world’s largest indoor farm, in Japan, covers 25,000 square feet, with 15 tiers of stacked growing trays that produce 10,000 heads of lettuce per day, or about 100 times more per square foot than traditional methods. It uses 99 percent less water and 40 percent less power than outdoor fields, while producing 80 percent less food waste.

Customized LED lighting helps plants grow up to two-and-a-half times faster than normal, one of the many innovations co-developed by Shigeharu Shimamura. He says the overall process is only half automated so far. “Machines do some work, but the picking is done manually. In the future, though, I expect an emergence of harvesting robots.” These may help transplant seedlings, harvest produce or transport product to packaging areas.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Sky Farms, the world’s first low-carbon, hydraulically driven, urban vertical farm, runs on a Sky Urban Vertical Farming System, making the most of rainwater and gravity. Using a water pulley system, 38 growing troughs rotate around a 30-foot-tall aluminum tower.

A much bigger project, a 69,000-square-foot vertical indoor garden under construction at AeroFarms headquarters, in Newark, New Jersey, will be capable of producing up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs annually.


Source: Tinyurl.com/JapaneseIndoorFarm

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Gardening for Kids

Give kids a patch of dirt and a trowel, and they’ll not only have fun but can find a fresh new appetite for fruit and vegetables.

Toxic Legacy

Women in growing numbers are joining together to deal with the long-term, serious health threats posed by saline and silicone implants.

Plants Talk

Plants may not be raising an audible ruckus, but scientists are finding they communicate silently with each other through smells, hearing and underground networks.

Dancing Prevents Senior Decline

Elderly Japanese women who danced for exercise were 73 percent less likely to be impaired eight years later doing “activities of daily living” such as walking, cooking, dressing and bathing.

U.S. Heart Disease on the Rise

An estimated 48 percent of American adults have cardiovascular disease, but about 80 percent of the time the disease can be prevented with precautionary medical care and lifestyle changes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags