Sunday, December 26, 2010

Going up! Imagining the future of farming

Chris gave me the book The Vertical Farm: Feeding the world in the 21st century for Christmas. She saw me thumbing through it at Barnes & Noble and, not one to ignore a hint, she bought it for me. The author is vertical farming guru Dr. Dickson Despommier. His proposals are pie-in-the-sky now. But they make so much sense. Can we tackle the food challenges of the 21st century by plowing more land and felling more forests? Maybe, but the main problem is that we're running out of arable land. According to Despommier, we now use a land area the size of South American for the world's farming needs. To feed projected population, we'd need another area the size of Brazil. Anyone know where we might find a farm that big? Not on this planet. Unless we build up and use technology that already exists and some that could exist if we bend our collective wills to the task. You know, we can put a man on the moon so why can't we grow lettuce and strawberries in a tower in downtown Cheyenne? Find out more at the Vertical Farm web site.

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