Originally posted by Paul Wheaton: Uh .... is it April first?
I bet people said the same thing to the Wright Brothers a time or two. I think it's a very cool idea. Especially since it's all organic.
Joined: Jan 20, 2005
A problem it may have is in making enough money to pay for the land to build the thing on. Could a farm earn enough to pay as much rent in an inner city location as an office would? Certainly in the city I live in (London), in the few areas where there is a need for tall buildings the rental prices are immense. [ June 21, 2007: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Originally posted by Dave Lenton: A problem it may have is in making enough money to pay for the land to build the thing on. Could a farm earn enough to pay as much rent in an inner city location as an office would? Certainly in the city I live in (London), in the few areas where there is a need for tall buildings the rental prices are immense.
I suppose that would depend on the price of food. Government could also help out in that regard too by either donating or with subsidies paid for by taxes on traditional or imported farm goods.
In any case, it is an interesting idea. It may be more viable in desert countries where farming outdoors is all but impossible. I know Israel has made significant advances in desert agriculture in the last 50 years (drip irrigation etc...). Being able to capture all of the evaporated water would be a huge advantage to an indoor farm in the desert.
Greenhouses come with lots of challenges. You get far more fungus and bug attacks ...
Plus, I think the light is going to be one of the biggest issues.
Then there is the whole thing about the cost of growing it that way vs. the amount of money one could earn. I suspect that something like this could work fine, provided that we pay $4 for every $1 of food produced. But to get it to the point that it would cost $0.99 for every $1 of food produced without subsidies ... well, that should be interesting.
I think we have plenty of farmland that can produce two to three times more food using permaculture techniques.
Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Perhaps an answer would be to build lots of smaller greenhouses instead of one large one. What if planning permission for new office blocks was only granted on the condition that they allow their top two or three floors to be turned into farms? What if every office had a small vegetable patch on the roof?
It wouldn't add up to much, but it would be a start.
Joined: Apr 13, 2003
Plus wouldn't it be difficult to use those heavy machines that we see on farms in this enclosed space.