Bowery Farming is forcing us all to look to the future of vertical farming – TechCrunch
Food is the very nourishing of life, but it is also becoming more and more difficult to develop on a large scale. A combination of explosive and unsustainable population growth, man-made climate change and depleted drinking water sources are contributing to overculture across the world.
For its many advocates, vertical farming is a critical piece in solving this puzzle, although skeptics cite its intensive energy needs as a major obstacle to achieving the positive long-term climate impact it promises.
The existential crises of climate change and severe food shortages have fueled interest in alternative forms of food production, while technological innovations have created the potential to diffuse these ideas at scale.
The pursuit of sustainability was a key catalyst in the formation of Bowery Farming – and, for that matter, the development of vertical agriculture as a whole. Global climate disasters have prompted businesses and governments to increasingly explore large-scale solutions, and that’s why increasingly optimistic investors are pumping money into space – the company has raised 300 million dollars in May.
Companies like Bowery have captured the public’s imagination for the role they could potentially play in helping to reshape the practice of agriculture over 10,000 years old. That’s a big talk, but it’s no surprise in a world inexorably drawn to the idea that the solution to righting the wrongs of decades of harmful technology can be found in the technology itself. It is a hopeful thought.
In Part 1 of this TC-1, I will look at the origins of Bowery Farming as well as the vertical movement of agriculture as a whole. I will also discuss how the tragic earthquake in Japan in 2011 catalyzed interest in the model and I will also explore how these new approaches to agriculture could usher in critical changes on an Earth with rapidly changing climates. .
We are no longer in Kansas
The best way to understand a farm is to visit it, so I organized a tour to see what Bowery is building. I plan to arrive early, make vague plans to walk to a nearby cafe, set up a camp with caffeine and Wi-Fi, and get ready for the day. However, as we approached the destination, this plan was quickly abandoned.
As the crow flies, Bowery Farming’s R&D center in Kearny, New Jersey is about five miles from Manhattan, but the surrounding neighborhood lacks any of the attractions of bustling city life. Just industrial warehouses and nothing else as far as the eye can see.