The Promises of Indoor Vertical Farming: better Botanicals while repairing Nature
Origins & benefits of vertical farming
Vertical farming began in earnest around the turn of this century as its potential to deliver nutritious and cost-effective plants and crops and reduce environmental harm became too compelling to ignore.
If you run the rule over the chronology of plant collection and cultivation, it’s not hard to see how we ended up at vertical farming. The steps go something like:
- Hunting and gathering
- Wild collection
- Early agriculture
- Industrialised agriculture
- Vertical farming
A chance for nature to repair itself
It is very clear that nature needs that chance as the climate crisis deepens on a seeming daily basis. As American Botanical Council chief Mark Blumenthal wrote last year in HerbalGram:
“Like many concerned citizens, including scientists, policy makers, and others, we are alarmed by the evidence of increasingly overwhelming changes in the Earth’s climate, much of which is attributable to human activity. These changes include, but are not limited to, increasing temperatures, the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels, changes in weather patterns, and much more. We are now facing an existential threat to not only plants and animals, but much, or perhaps almost all, of the biosphere itself.”
With such trends replicated in other parts of the world, pressure mounts on the 3000 or so plant species regularly traded internationally, with many medicinal and aromatic plants under threat of extinction. The wildlife trade monitoring network, Traffic, noted, “the use of these species to provide remedies for the COVID-19 outbreak presents a key opportunity to emphasise the importance of ensuring the long-term sustainability of the TCM sector as a supplier of herbal ingredients.”
Traffic added: “While current research focuses on the likely efficacy of herbal medicines to support health care, there is a lack of attention to ensuring the sustainability of supply chains, providing the herbal ingredients, in particular those sourced from the wild.”
Vertical farming offers much in tackling these issues.
Vertical farming solves ginseng cultivation issues
A glimpse inside our vertical farm systems
Employing a semi-automated process ensures sterility within the vertical farm – so important in producing extracts that are both pure and potent in profile and contaminant-free. Most tasks of growth management from the hydroponic blend to the light and oxygen levels within the farm are automated and run off bespoke software and hardware developed for BOTALYS. Rapid advancement in AI power means “machine learning gardeners” are providing more and deeper aid to our “human gardeners” at every step of the way.
- Starting new cultures
- Maintaining overall plant health via data analysis and visual observation
- Harvesting and processing ginseng plantlets with “ripe” roots