Some might shy away from using gadgets in the garden, but with the United Nations sounding the alarm that we only have 60 years of topsoil left, something’s got to give. Many experts say regenerative farming practices will help, but technology might also be a part of the solution. With a growing population, food production needs to increase by 60% by 2050. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization says hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical farming are valid options to ending world hunger.
Tower farming technology is making a name for itself as it proves to be a viable alternative to growing in soil. With very little space required, tower farms produce heavy yields without chemical pesticides and herbicides while also significantly reducing water consumption compared to conventional growing practices. It can also be integrated commercially and residentially, making it accessible to all.
Agrotonomy Tower Farms is an alternative growing company using its technology to do the world some good. In the first wave of the global pandemic, the vertical farming initiative donated 95% of its fruit and vegetable production to low-income families. This year, the company has pledged to donate 75% of its crops to those in need.
In addition to helping people, Agrotonomy says its tower farms are also making a difference for the planet. The aeroponic-agriculture venture grows tons of tomatoes using 95% less water than conventional gardening and farming. The harvests are also something to boast about; Agrotonomy claims the tower garden can yield 40% more than crops grown in soil.
What About Nutrition?
While big harvests are always lovely, what about the nutrition? A comparative study partially funded by the USDA found that tower garden crops rank 15% to 65% higher than soil-grown crops regarding essential nutrient, flavonoid, and antioxidant counts.
Tomatoes aren’t the only crops that do well in the tower gardens; leafy greens, fresh herbs, beans, cabbages, courgettes, peppers, and more also thrive.
As with any technology, there’s a learning curve associated with growing in tower gardens. However, once learned, alternative growing techniques can undoubtedly do a world of good.