AU: Perfect produce with no sun or soil, but will high energy inputs be a threat to this indoor farm?

Not far from the fertile farmlands known as Australia’s salad bowl, rows of fruit and vegetables are being cultivated without sunlight or soil.

Perfect-looking strawberries, tomatoes, baby cos lettuces, and coriander grow under moody purple fluorescent lighting. Here in the research wing of a 4000 square meter facility at Arundel on the Gold Coast, the intensity and timing of light, the humidity of the air, and the nutrients in the water supply are all intricately controlled.

Founded in 2017, indoor vertical farming company Stacked Farm bills itself as being able to produce fresh fruit and vegetables year-round, using less water than traditional farming and without the need for pesticides. In months, its leafy vegetables will hit the shelves of major supermarkets around the country.

Stacked Farm, the biggest player in Australia’s vertical farming industry, says the technique can produce more crops more quickly and in less space than traditional agriculture requires.


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