Today’s Solutions: November 29, 2021

Vertical farming is an amazing solution that allows us to grow fresh produce using a fraction of the water and land that traditional agriculture requires. That said, most vertical farms need a lot of heating and artificial light.

The use of 100 percent natural light is what sets Shockingly Fresh’s giant vertical farm in Offenham, Worcestershire apart. The farm, which is the largest naturally-lit vertical farm in Britain, has recently begun harvesting thousands of leafy greens, herbs, and strawberries that will soon make their way to supermarkets all over the nation.

Just like other vertical farms, they need much less water for far greater yields than traditional field farming. However, the fact that they use natural light means that their process isn’t as carbon-intensive as their LED-lit counterparts.

During the winter months, Britain doesn’t get much sunlight, which means that, unlike most hydroponic farms, yields vary throughout the year, with fewer crops grown in the winter. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a downside. According to Nick Green, the development director of Shockingly Fresh, “production isn’t completely linear as it would be in a fully lit vertical farm. But we do match the consumption pattern of people—people don’t eat as much lettuce in winter as they do in summer.”

Plus, seasonal fruits such as strawberries can still be cultivated within Shockingly Fresh’s vertical farm, which will help reduce imports. “It is ultimately better for the environment. I can’t say it’s carbon-neutral but it isn’t as carbon hungry as an LED vertical farm would be,” Green adds.

Shockingly Fresh hopes to build 40 more naturally lit vertical greenhouses, with their next one planned for West Calder in Scotland. This one is set to be even larger, and may just become the UK’s biggest vertical farm.

Hydroponic and other vertical farms are becoming an important area of interest as the world reconsiders the ways in which we should be using our land. Other companies worth mentioning include Growing Underground, which makes micro greens and salad leaves underneath the bustling streets of Clapham, and LettUs Grow in Bristol, which, as the name suggests, produces lettuce and other leafy greens.

Source image: Shockingly Fresh

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Italian garden installation shows us how much CO2 trees store

Trees are the lungs of our planet—we know that trees are needed because they sequester dangerous CO2 emissions, but do we really know how much we depend on them to clean the air we breathe? ... Read More

Go Cubs: The inspiring story of California’s undefeated deaf football team

The California School for the Deaf in Riverside had never won a division championship football game in its 68-year history, but that all changed this year when the team not only won a championship game ... Read More

New biomarker for Alzheimer’s discovered

Alzheimer’s is a complex neurological disease, with scientists still trying to piece together the complete puzzle of factors that contribute to its development. A number of different genetic and environmental risks have been determined─though more ... Read More

Bread and Roses uses floristry to empower refugee women in London

Rebuilding a life in a foreign country as a refugee is not an easy task. This is especially true for women, who often face more barriers than men as they are less likely to have ... Read More

Study: Schools of fish operate like a superorganism

The world under the waves is still a mystery, with 95 percent of oceans yet to be explored. Scientists are always uncovering many new and exciting aspects of this ecosystem; from the importance of fish ... Read More

New biodegradable glitter lets you sparkle guilt-free

As sparkly and magical as it is, glitter is actually a form of microplastic, and even products that claim to contain biodegradable glitter rarely actually are. This is a difficult issue to tackle because countries ... Read More