The Vertical Farm is an expanded edition of Despommier’s earlier essay on vertical farming, which explains the many advantages of vertical farming. As Despommier rallies, vertical farms could enable every country in the world, regardless of climate or agricultural land, to be able to grow food in an efficient and sustainable manner. They could also save energy, reduce toxins, save water, provide new employment opportunities, restore ecosystems, and much more.
Granted, very few vertical farms have actually been built — there are a few small trial projects that utilize hydroponic growing techniques. Vertical farming is still largely theoretical, however Despommier makes the case that all the technology needed is available and at hand – it’s just there’s no funding for it yet. As Despommier says, “Every new idea will cost a lot to create, witness the cell phone and plasma screen TV, but as more of them become constructed, their cost will go down.”
Interestingly back during the summer, there were rumors going around that Dr. Despommier was working in collaboration with Weber Thompson on a vertical farm in Newark, NJ. As to the rumors, Despommier says they are just that — and that there are no plans for a vertical farm in New Jersey at this time.