Living Greens Farm is not your grandfather’s farm. There are no acres to harvest, tractors to fuel and repair, or wagons to haul. The Minnesota business produces an assortment of fresh greens from an indoor farm with environmentally-friendly measures such as less water, less shipping, and fewer herbicides.
And less land. A lot less.
Living Greens Farm is one business joining in the worldwide emergence of vertical farming. In about 4,000 square yards—the equivalent of one acre—the business extracts the same quantity of food produced on about 100 acres of conventional agriculture. With the world population rapidly expanding and the land required for farming rapidly diminishing, vertical farming is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Business Wire reported vertical farming values in the United States are expected to reach $3 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 24% through 2024.
“We whole-heartedly believe indoor/vertical farming is the path forward for agriculture,” said Nate Klingler, Vice President of Business Development for Living Greens Farm. “Demand for food is growing, and demand for safe, delicious, and healthy food is growing at an even faster rate.” Another factor is playing into the growth of vertical farming: automation. The growth of the industry coincides perfectly with the advent of sophisticated machinery that allows many farming tasks to be completed with automation. In 2018, an Ohio business broke ground to become the nation’s first fully-automated vertical farm.
“The majority of vertical farming systems have some kind of automation built into them so they can operate 24/7,” said Charles Jaskolka of igus, whose company’s products are included in a traverse system at Living Greens Farms. “Plants need constant attention and these facilities provide consistent environmental conditions that optimize growing conditions.”
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