With 85% of the human population living in urban settings by 2050 – there is not doubt that a new way of raising our food, must be underway. Lucky for us, a genius by the name of Dickson Despommier, has already created the solution for us – vertical farming.
Despommier is a professor of Environmental Health at Columbia University, and coined the term, Vertical Farming. It offers the idea of using hydroponic greenhouse methods to grow upward, rather than out.
As our needs continue to grow over the next several decades, we are going to need to solve this issues, before they become problems. The idea of a controlled environment, may be counter intuitive to us, naturalists, but the reality is that the use of Agri Business, has not been able to solve our food issues.
The method of vertical farming, forgoes the use of fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, mono cropping and a variety of other common used practices in conventional farming.
I had the honor of speaking with Despommier, at a TED conference after party. It was one of the most fascinating conversations I have had. He is, without a doubt, a pioneer in the movement of alternative food production. I was able to inquire on a variety of issues, that only propelled his thinking, and was not able to give me a response. Only affirming that we are in the mere inception of these ground breaking ideas, and innovation is abound, and an open field!
We need to continue to develop individuals’ relationship with food – where it comes from, the energy trail associated with it, and of course, whether it is organic or not. Understand the intended principals of food, and how energy is put into food – and how it translates to nutrition and taste.
Mankind has lost its spiritual place within the natural world, and awareness of one’s humanity – issues that have transmitted to other areas of our life. Clearly, our mainstream society is missing the dynamic balance between people, place and community. Perhaps, this is also a problem that has created a dissonance with all aspects of our life – in turn the natural world.
With an increase in consciousness and awareness, this discord will begin to heal, and harmony amongst people will return. Individually, we must step up and begin with ourselves, and that will transcend out. Supporting our local farmer’s market through direct purchase or through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in addition to, growing our own food, we can begin to grow our food within our region, and in accordance to the seasons.