Indoor Gardening is Looking Up
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.