UK: Taylor’s Urban Farm advocates for automated, sustainable agriculture

Imagine having rows of edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs growing around town and harvesting deliciously fresh, organic and pesticide-free produce all year round. Well, that is the future envisioned by the students and staff at Taylor’s University with the introduction of Taylor’s Urban Farm.

TUF (for short) is a hi-tech greenhouse built on a one-acre plot of land that used to be a parking lot at the institution’s Lakeside Campus. It houses over 20 types of greens planted on vertical towers, grow beds, and autopots and is managed by student volunteers.

This urban farming system runs on hydroponics—where plants are grown in water instead of soil—uses recycled water and zero pesticides.

The system is also semi-automated with the use of sensors and software to ensure that the plants are growing well and to minimize strenuous farm work. Everything in the greenhouse, from the water to the lighting, can be monitored and controlled on a single tablet.


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