Vertical Farming with Coco Peat
Introducing Vertical Farming
10 Advantages of Vertical Farming
|Limited Agricultural Runoff
||Creates new jobs
|Year round crop production
||Resilient to climate change
|Promotes restoration of damaged ecosystems
||Higher yields and faster growth rates
|Uses up to 98% less water compared to open field agriculture
||Ideal for vacant urban spaces
|Less food miles due to local production
||Delivers consistent, fresh and local produce
By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today.
The potential solution..? Vertical Farming!
Vertical farming is the practice of producing food and medicine in vertically stacked layers, vertically inclined surfaces or integrated in other structures such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or shipping container.
The modern ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology, where all environmental factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (humidity, temperature, gases, etc…) and fertigation (injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system).
Hydroponics is the method of growing of plants in a soil less medium, or an aquatic based environment. Hydroponic growing uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed the plants in water, without soil.
However, this technique requires a hydroponics medium to help plant roots support the weight of the growing plant. The most popular and the best hydroponic medium is considered to be coco peat or coconut coir.
Coco peat or Coco Pith is a lightweight, soilless grow medium made using the fibres found between a ripe coconut’s shell and outer surface. Because it’s a material that occurs in nature, it’s completely renewable and is therefore considered an excellent choice for environmental sustainability.
Coco peat’s primary benefit is its improved water retention ability, including its ability to be easily re-hydrated. At the same time, coconut coir also possesses aeration properties which is important in soilless growing. Because of these two factors, plants grown in coconut coir experience stronger root and better health overall because of its neutral pH level.
This inert and sterile grow medium is bacteria free which will prevent plants from developing diseases, pest infestations, or fungus growth. Coco peat has a natural composition of lignin, which is a natural polymer that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in gardening capacity.
Coco peat is a great soilless substrate to use in a tray system when growing wheatgrass or micro greens. It can also be used in pot systems for growing vegetable plants including leafy salad greens and/or flowering plants in home gardens. It works great in either passive or active hydroponic systems because you can count on its ability to retain moisture.
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