A US vertical farm called Fork Farms, founded in 2010 as a mobile hydroponic farming system (growing plants without soil) called Flex Farms, has become so successful that it is now growing lettuce, greens, herbs, and a variety of other foods that cost less than $1 per pound. The system can produce 25 pounds of lettuce every 28 days, all within the confines of a mere 9 square feet of space. This is an example of this new technology which, together with advances in regenerative veganic farming and precision fermentation, is aiming to replace animal agriculture.
Flex Farms has now more than 2,200 installations in 43 states and nine countries, having found their way into office buildings, cafeterias, and schools (many schools have partnered with them to use the technology as a teaching tool in classrooms. One school district in Green Bay has 34 farms to serve more than 1,600 students each day). Most recently, Fork Farms developed the Flex Acre, which is capable of producing more than 100 pounds of fresh plant-based food per month, or the equivalent of four Flex Farms.
Lalu Beré, Brand Vice President at Fork Farms, told VegNews, “Our food supply chain is in crisis. There’s a systemic issue with the way that fresh food is produced, transported, and distributed within our country and world. This problem is expected to get substantially worse as the population grows, climates change, shipping distances increase, and overall health declines.”
As vertical farming uses much less land compared to traditional farming and avoids using soil, it can easily be developed in urban areas. It is especially suitable for growing crops in regions where they are difficult to grow due to harsh weather (such as desert areas).