By terryhallinan at 2012-06-18
Dreamy talk of urban farming may be nearing reality.
In Chicago, a dilapidated former 93,500sf meat-packing factory has been revitalized into The Plant: a net-zero energy vertical farm and food business operation. A complex and highly interrelated system, one-third of The Plant holds aquaponic growing systems and the other two-thirds incubates sustainable food businesses (including an artisanal brewery, mushroom farm, bakery, etc) by offering low rent, low energy costs, and a licensed shared kitchen. The Plant is aiming to create 125 jobs in Chicago’s economically distressed Back of the Yards neighbourhood. A renewable energy system diverts over 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills each year to meet all of its heat and power needs.That is light years from the revolving skyscrapers imagined in Dubai to something more akin to an East St. Louis development where an entire downtown block was once offered for $50, without any takers.
But it has the advantage of being real.
In Japan and Holland and Vancouver, British Columbia, a new factory farming is taking shape.
Now if they can just kill the organic farming hoax, we can get down to the business of feeding a hungry world at minimum cost with minimum use of water, land, chemicals and relatively clean work for labor at living wages. We could even leave the wilderness to the wild things.
It is no longer just an empty dream but hopefully the start of a true revolution.