Sunday, January 08, 2017

Vertical Farming and Misleading Illustrations

The New Yorker has an article on vertical farming, featuring a Cornell professor, Ed Harwood, who is depicted as the prime mover behind aeroponics.  (When you check the wikipedia article he's mentioned in one sentence.)  Anyhow, Harwood's aeroponics uses water sprays of nutrients and a patented fabric together with specialized LED lights.

It all sounds good, but I'm constitutionally unable fully to approve of vertical farming.  The catch in this article is the illustration, which instead of showing stacks of plant trays and LED lights shows a few leafy open-air terraces, with the implication that the light for photosynthesis is furnished by the sun. The illustration fits the original concept of vertical farming, but not that described in the article.

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