When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America's food, water, and energy crises, he didn't just think big - he thought up. Despommier's stroke of genius, The Vertical Farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including: allowing year-round crop production; providing food to areas currently lacking arable land; immunity to weather-related crop failure; re-use of water collected by de-humidification of the indoor environment; new employment opportunities; no use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides; drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels; no crop loss due to shipping or storage; no agricultural runoff; and, many more. Vertical farming can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams. They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labor. They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting gray water back into drinking water. In the tradition of the bestselling The World Without Us, this is a totally original landmark work destined to become a classic. With stunning illustrations and clear and entertaining writing, this book will appeal to anyone concerned about America's future.
*Starred Review* Despommier, an award-winning professor of microbiology and public and environmental health sciences, adds his voice to those calling for agricultural reform. It’s time to confront agrochemical pollution, he declares, and to convert waste into energy, conserve water, stop cutting down forests for fields, and make cities the equivalent of healthy ecosystems. It’s time, Despommier believes after more than a decade of study and brainstorming, for vertical farming. Farms that “would raise food without soil in specially constructed buildings”: energy- and water-efficient high-rise greenhouses using hydroponic and aeroponic growing techniques. The challenges involved are many, Despommier cheerfully concedes, but the advantages he cites are profound. In making his case, Despommier offers a fresh look at the history of farming, a staggering overview of the health and environmental problems associated with industrial agriculture, and a sobering report on current food and water shortages soon to be exacerbated by rapid climate change and exponential population growth. A visionary known the world over, Despommier believes that the “vertical farm is the keystone enterprise for establishing an urban-based ecosystem” and for “restoring balance between our lives and the rest of nature.” A provocative introduction to a pragmatic approach to growing safe, nutritious, local food. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.