Thanks to technology, we are no longer limited by things such as climate, pH levels of water, season or soil. There are certain things we can do such as creating a controlled environment for our crops, much like an advanced greenhouse. It beggars the question of whether it is much more practical to convert all farms into indoor farms where you can stay in control and not be deterred by weather or if it is too impractical due to the high costs of maintenance that ultimately goes into indoor farms.
Indoor farming is not suitable for all kinds of crops
While you can plant many kinds of plants indoors, whether wild or from seed shops, not all plants will thrive in a vertical farm and if your indoor farm is not purely vertical, then it is unsustainable and impractical. If you need to section out a place for horizontal plants, you will be making huge losses from equipment alone.
However, if you were to make use of vertical farming for the right kind of crops, it is entirely possible to make 80% less food waste. According to one such farm in Japan that produces lettuce, it is able to grow a hundred times more lettuce per day in their indoor farm than they would feasibly be able to grow on a conventional farm.
Being powered by 17,5000 LED lights means that the farmers or scientists are able to increase photosynthesis and control the length of day and night in order to maximize on its growth. They are also able to control the humidity and temperature, which allows them to speed up the growth of the lettuce by two and a half times faster.
Outdoor farming causes soil depletion
On the other hand, indoor farming uses less fertilizer and being indoors, they do not require the heavy amounts of pesticide that outdoor farming does which leads to soil depletion. This means that not only are arable land being reduced due to farming, our crops are also hugely poisoned with pesticides and chemicals.
Also, indoor hydroponic systems do not require any soil - just water and the nutrients can be fed through the water, making the plants stronger and much healthier. However, hydroponic systems require frequent replacement to ensure that it is running at 100% and not being contaminated. Think about stagnant water, it’s bad because bacteria and bugs can breed which can cause all kinds of problems. But the problem with frequent replacing means that there is a high chance that hydroponic waste ends up in the oceans which can really harm our aquatic wildlife and ecosystem. Fortunately, there are ways that allow hydroponic waste to be reused.
Indoor farming is highly sustainable
Going back to the farm in Japan, it also uses ninety nine percent less water than regular farms - a pretty impressive feat considering the fact that it is housed in a building that measures out to be approximately 25,000 square feet. This is because they are able to recycle the water since it does not get evaporated as it would outdoors.
Experts believe that indoor farming will not replace outdoor farming, but rather one will continue to supplement one another.