Editor’s Comment: These kinds of systems are a great idea, and something we’d all like to see more of. But as someone wary of government intervention and project scales so large that they are “too big to be free,” it would be even better to see smaller and medium scale versions of this project also take off, with individuals and small, voluntary groups using these successes as models, while reinventing and innovating newer versions adaptable for personal and community food freedom and adaptable to low-tech, no budget solutions as well.
It is a bit of a conundrum: as many of us who are aware of the larger problems want these kind of solutions, so do those ushering in the new phases of Agenda 21 and life in megacities – where projects like these (are they foundation funded?) and farmer’s markets are used as a grassroots carrot-and-stick lure to sell the larger concept to the masses of a life in the city with a smaller footprint. There’s some good and bad…
Still, the project was organized at the grassroots level, and aimed at local, community jobs and marketing. Here’s the Jackson Hole, WY group’s mission statement:
Vertical Harvest will be a Wyoming based agri-business that will enhance the local economy by operating year round to sell, for profit, fresh, locally grown produce to the community through multiple venues at a competitive, consistent price.
Not a bad start at all, and worthy of some focus and support. For now, we can only celebrate any version of this model as a sign of true progress, particularly if they result in re-introducing nutrition back into the plant crops being grown; as so many know, the mega-agriculture system has produced decades of nutritionally void produce grown in depleted soils. Check out their floor plans for this interesting concept.
By Joshua Krause
While Wyoming is a very rural state with a rich agricultural history, it’s not exactly a breadbasket. Between the high elevation and the long winters, growing food is quite a challenge. Despite being the least populated state in America, and having more land than you can shake a stick at, they still have to import food for much of the year.
That’s why several residents from Jackson, Wyoming decided to build a massive vertical greenhouse in their downtown area. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, and receiving a grant from the state, they’re set to open their facility by the end of the year.
The structure will be built along the side of a parking garage, and only take up about 1/10th of an acre. They’ll be using hydroponics to cut down on water usage, and they’ve created a unique carousel system to rotate their crops throughout the day, allowing each plant to receive plenty of sunlight in a limited space. Despite the energy needed to run the carousel, it will probably save electricity that would have been spent on UV lights.
All told, these methods are expected grow 100,000 lbs of fresh produce every year. According to their website, this will be the equivalent of growing on 5 acres using traditional (i.e. big agra) farming techniques. When it’s finished, it’ll look something like this.
You may be wondering what this has to do with prepping. After all, most people don’t have the resources or connections to build such a project.
What’s important to take from this, is that as preppers, we do what we do because the society we live in has a serious lack of preparedness. We know our communities and most of our neighbors will never take the time and energy to make themselves self-sufficient by any measure. It’s up to us do that on an individual basis.
This vertical farm is what community wide preparedness would look like. If our society was serious about sustainability, and reluctant to rely on an aging and vulnerable infrastructure for its needs, greenhouses like this would be everywhere.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger