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1.18: Indoor Vertical Farming and Cultivating Plants in Microgravity

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    Is vertical farming future of sustainable crop production especially under suboptimal environment conditions such as drought and water shortage? 60% of US tomatoes and 35% of US total fresh produce are imported with considerable shipping carbon print. Vertical farms are automated / partially automated indoor hydroponic / aeroponic farming factories under LED lights.

    A variety of fresh plants are currently in vertical farms including lettuce, microgreens, leafy greens, tomato, cucumber, and pea shoots year around with zero pesticides / harmful chemicals. Moreover, plant growing in vertical farms uses no soil, sunlight and therefore not affected by climate stress conditions. Vertical farms may be the future of sustainable plant growing since land and water resources are getting more and more scarce to maximize yield as well as flavor.

    \(\PageIndex{1}\). Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

    • SLO 18.01: Apply the best practices for mastering cultivating plants in microgravity
    • SLO 18.02: Assess the strategy of growing plants in simulated Martian soil mimics Mars
    • SLO 18.03: Distinguish between plant-available vs accessible format of nutrients
    • SLO 18.04: Assess the strategy of employing specific bacteria or fungi that are beneficial to plant growth in a Martian soil environment
    • SLO 18.05: Explain how vertical farming may cause majority of land and water use.
    • SLO 18.06: Assess the strategy of employing solar power for vertical farms
    • SLO 18.07: Explain the benefits of vertical farming

    \(\PageIndex{2}\). Big Picture


    \(\PageIndex{3}\). Test Your Knowledge

    • Assessment 1: TRUE or FALSE: World food supply needs to increase 60% to feed 10 billion people by the year 2050.
    • Assessment 2: TRUE or FALSE: Hydroponics system uses 90% less water than soil growing.
    • Assessment 3: TRUE or FALSE: Hydroponics can increase tomato yield almost \(6\times\).
    • Assessment 4: TRUE or FALSE: Microgreens (collard, arugula, basil, celery, lettuce, spinach) are nutrient packed that are \(\sim 100\times\) more nutritious than regular greens.

    \(\PageIndex{4}\). Can You Spot These Plants?


    \(\PageIndex{5}\). Check Your Answers

    1. TRUE
    2. TRUE
    3. TRUE
    4. TRUE

    This page titled 1.18: Indoor Vertical Farming and Cultivating Plants in Microgravity is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gokhan Hacisalihoglu (Florida State Open Publishing) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.