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Can indoor farming surmount agriculture’s biggest challenges?

| | September 9, 2019

A car park opposite the infamous New York City housing estate where rapper Jay-Z grew up seems an unlikely place for an agricultural revolution.

Ten shipping containers dominate a corner of the Brooklyn parking area, each full of climate control tech, growing herbs that are distributed to local stores on bicycles. This is urban farming at its most literal.

The containers are owned by Square Roots, part of America’s fast-expanding vertical farming industry ….

The world’s best basil reputedly comes from Genoa, Italy. Square Roots grows Genovese seeds in a container that recreates the city’s daylight hours, humidity, Co2 levels – and all fed hydroponically in nutrient-rich water.

“Rather than ship food across the world, we ship the climate data and feed it into our operating system,” says co-founder Tobias Peggs.

Related article:  We need to produce 56 percent more calories by 2050—can we do it sustainably?

An artificial intelligence expert, Mr Peggs founded Square Roots with investor Kimball Musk (Elon’s brother) two years ago. They’ve signed a deal with one of America’s big distribution companies, Gordon Food Service, to locate herb-growing containers at some its 200 warehouses.

He says the deal represents everything about indoor farming’s potential: locally grown, quick-to-market, fresh produce that can be harvested year-round and is free of pesticides and not affected by harsh weather.

Read full, original article: The future of food: Why farming is moving indoors

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