The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century by Dr. Dickson Despommier.
Despommier’s ideas have been stirring around urban agriculture and environmental communities for years. I am excited to read about his innovative theories and strategies in his new book. However, as an experienced urban and rural farmer, I’m skeptical about the finer points of vertical farming. I want to know how vertical farms will provide sufficient sunlight for plants, enough nutrient rich soil, and how pests and diseases will be dealt with from season to season. I agree that cities have untapped potential, but I think we need to examine the resources we already have and utilize them, rather than building all new structures that we hope will produce plentifully. As any farmer worth their salt knows, we can plan, but mother nature makes the rules. In a vertical farming model, mother nature is relegated to a greatly reduced role and I’m unsure how effective this can be. I hope I am wrong to be so wary of this concept though, because I can see the great benefit it could afford us. I will report back with my thoughts on this book and I hope everyone reading will take the opportunity to do the same.
George Monbiot’s critique of Despommier’s book.
City Farmer’s link to this book.