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Retired professor's book calls for vertical farming

Friday, October 29, 2010

A recent book calls for urban agriculture through vertical growing.
A recent book calls for urban agriculture through vertical growing.

For countless years, producers have worked with farm equipment horizontally, plowing dirt in rows and planting crops to help feed their communities.

However, a recent report from The Associated Press noted a new book from Dickson Despommier is calling for techniques that would take agriculture into the sky, which could make urban production more feasible. In his latest publication, he calls on using hydroponic greenhouses and other innovations.

Doing so could be an expensive endeavor, a fact Despommier recognizes. Still, large projects in the past - such as space travel - faced similar obstacles that were overcome.

"There is nothing stopping us from doing that any more than there was nothing stopping us from going to the moon," Despommier said in a recent interview, according to the AP.

The former public health professor at Columbia University developed his theories on vertical farming over the years with his students, with one goal being bringing production into urban areas.

The thought of developing urban farming is not a new one, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture has funded projects to convert city properties into viable farm land.

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