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  • NARRATOR: You can't see it on the outside,

  • but this old industrial neighborhood

  • is an agricultural oasis.

  • Inside this former laser tag arena,

  • about 250 kinds of leafy greens are growing in huge quantities,

  • to be sold to local supermarkets and restaurants.

  • This is AeroFarms, a massive indoor vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey.

  • DAVID ROSENBERG: Our mission is to build farms in cities

  • all over the world so people have access

  • to fresh, great tasting, highly nutritious food.

  • NARRATOR: Crops are stacked more than 30 feet high

  • inside this 30,000 square foot space.

  • They're grown using aeroponic technology.

  • DAVID ROSENBERG: Typically in indoor growing,

  • the roots sit in water and one tries to oxygenate the water.

  • Our key inventor realized that if we mist nutrition to the root structure,

  • then the roots have a better oxygenation.

  • NARRATOR: AeroFarms says the root misting

  • system allows them to use 95% less water than a regular field farm.

  • They also use no pesticides or herbicides.

  • Instead of soil, plants are grown in reusable cloth,

  • made from recycled plastic.

  • And instead of the sun, there are rows and rows

  • of specialized LED lighting.

  • DAVID ROSENBERG: A lot of people say, sunless?

  • Wait, plants need sun.

  • In fact, the plants don't need yellow spectrum,

  • so we're able to reduce our energy

  • footprint by doing things like reducing certain types of spectrum.

  • NARRATOR: This sophisticated climate

  • controlled system cuts the growing cycle in half,

  • so crops can be grown all year round,

  • but with a much smaller impact on the environment.

  • DAVID ROSENBERG: There's all these stresses on our planet.

  • 70% of our fresh water contamination comes from agriculture.

  • 70% of our fresh water usage goes to agriculture.

  • One third of our arable land has been

  • degraded in the last 40 years.

  • All these macro trends point to the fact

  • that we need a new way to feed our planet.

  • NARRATOR: One of the early champions of vertical farming

  • is Columbia University ecologist Dickson Despommier.

  • In 1999, Despommier and his students

  • proposed that vertical farms could feed overpopulated cities

  • while using less land and less water.

  • They would also cut greenhouse gases by eliminating the need to transport food over long distances.

  • And the idea is finally taking root.

  • Over the past few years, vertical farms

  • have sprouted all over the world,

  • including in Vancouver, Singapore, Panama,

  • the UK, and around the US.

  • Here in Newark, AeroFarms is building out another new farm

  • in a former steel mill, one that's

  • bigger than a football field.

  • Once it's fully operational,

  • it's expected to produce two million pounds of greens a year

  • -- all grown vertically.

  • DAVID ROSENBERG: We listen to the plants

  • very carefully to try and understand

  • what they're telling us and try and optimize

  • all these different qualities of the plant.

  • It's a tough business, but it's one that's going to stay

  • and it's going to have a bigger and bigger impact.

  • NARRATOR: Do you think vertical farms will help solve our food production problems?

  • Let us know in the comments below.

  • And check out this next episode to see

  • how this major US city is striving to become zero waste.

  • ROBERT REED: When I started at Recology 23 years ago,

  • the recycling rate was around 38%.

  • Today, we've more than doubled that.

  • NARRATOR: So far, San Francisco has diverted 80% of its waste

  • away from landfills, and its success has

  • been getting global attention.

  • Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe for more Seeker Stories.

NARRATOR: You can't see it on the outside,

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This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

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    羅世康 posted on 2017/07/22
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