With the rise of urban residents’ awareness of environmental protection and their yearning for green life, coupled with the rapid development of related technologies, urban agriculture has become popular in various countries in recent years. It not only creates employment opportunities but also expands urban green space. “Local consumption” shortens the distance for food to be delivered from the place of production to the dining table, which is conducive to energy saving and carbon reduction.
It is common for urbanites to learn to be farmers and play the realistic version of “Happy Farm” in their own yards, balconies, and rooftops. However, a high-end department store in the center of Paris, France, also operates a “sky vegetable garden”, which is refreshing. The roof of the Lafayette (Galleries Lafayette) department store on Huadu’s bustling street was planned by a group of agricultural engineers and architects, the “Paris Strawberries” company, to create a huge vegetable and fruit garden, which can supply about 1.8 tons of food to Parisians every year. Strawberry is its bulk.
The current “vertical farming method” is adopted here. The soil is discarded, and the patented “biofilm” is used to grow edible crops. Specially filtered air-conditioning wastewater and rainwater are used to provide the nutrients needed for plant growth. The foundation of this “soilless, hydroponic cultivation” is “biofilm”, which is mainly prepared from animal fibers such as waste wool that has no textile value. The cost is not high and the construction method is simple, which is both economical and environmentally friendly. As far as the trend is concerned, vertical farms are popping up like mushrooms in department stores and shopping malls in Paris and other cities.
The mayor of Paris, Itage, has introduced a new law to encourage citizens to be “gardeners of public space”, hoping to create 100 hectares of new gardens such as vegetation walls and green roofs by 2020, one-third of which will be contributed to urban agriculture (gardening), producing food. This has added conditions for food “local production and local consumption” for Paris, which is densely populated and sparsely populated, and has further beautified the urban landscape, and enhanced the city’s biodiversity, which is conducive to ecological balance.
On the other hand, the Metro supermarket chain in Berlin, the capital of Germany, cooperates with Infarm, a company that develops urban indoor farming methods, to promote the indoor vertical farm plan, “growing vegetables and fruits directly in the supermarket”, and selling them while growing them, so that customers can conveniently Pick your own fresh ingredients for purchase.
Infarm is committed to growing food in various “impossible” places. It uses old containers to make stackable modular planting boxes. In this “vertical farm”, irrigation and nutrient supply are controlled by the Internet The system, LED lighting that simulates sunlight to help plant photosynthesis, and installs multiple sensing devices to monitor the status of crops. Consumers can also learn about the growth process of food materials in real-time through the Internet.
Building a vertical farm in the supermarket aisle only occupies a small space of a few square meters in the supermarket, and can be extended upwards. “The biggest advantage is that the supermarket infrastructure is complete, without any additions or adjustments. You only need to install the system. It can start to operate.” It has many advantages such as reducing the cost of food transportation, storage, and preservation, and is favored by consumers.