By: Isabelle Marsh
Vertical farming is changing the agricultural industry. Sometimes called a “mini farm”, vertical farming is the switch from growing outwardly to upwardly. And if you’re in a large city, vertical farming is probably close by on a neighbor's rooftop.
High-tech indoor methods are an effective way to make the switch to controlled-environment agriculture. Facilities that produce such agriculture utilize light, environmental control (such as temperature) and fertigation.
Many vertical farms use greenhouses where natural light can reflect naturally off of metal reflectors while others are utilizing indoor urban spaces to grow upwards. The ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program defines vertical farming as having one overarching benefit: continuous crop production: “vertical farming technology can ensure crop production year-round in non-tropical regions. And the production is much more efficient than land-based farming. According to Despommier, a single indoor acre of a vertical farm may produce yield equivalent to more than 30 acres of farmland, when the number of crops produced per season is taken into account.” 
Benefits to crops
Unlike traditional farming where the seasons change and the farmers battle the various changing weather conditions, vertical farming can help deflect more natural conditions. Many argue vertical farming is the key component to reducing the overproduction of farmland. The switch could save and conserve many resources.
Other benefits include:
The decreasing effects of deforestation as encroachment lessens.
Cities could and would expand and grow in an eco-friendly manner. Food scarcity would increase in areas referred to as ‘food deserts’.
Energy is sustained. According to Vertical Farm Systems, “Being a totally closed growing system with controlled transpiration losses, Vertical Farm Systems use only around 10% of the water required for traditional open field farming and around 20% less than conventional hydroponics. Water from transpiration is harvested and re-used and spent nutrient water is also processed for re-use.” 
The future of vertical farming is still growing and developing as new methods of sustainability evolve. The message is clear: vertical farming could mean food in grocery stores really does, in fact, come from the farm.