Martian Food Tech Crash Landing On A Farm Near You

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“Hell yeah I’m a botanist! Fear my botany powers!” – Mark Watney

The newest space film The Martian predicts a future where plant knowledge is not only imperative for human advancement but for astronaut Mark Watney’s very survival. I was just at the NASA headquarters in Washington, DC  and even the best minds there weren’t immune to the buzz around this fall’s hottest flick, constantly asking how Veggie, NASA’s new micro-gravity plant growth system, will be used on Mars. During the entire meeting, I was conscious of something important: a synthesis between vertical farming technologies and space exploration that goes far deeper than what the general public seems to realize. Keep reading to learn more about:

  • Veggie, NASA’s new way to grow food in space
  • Plant pillow propagation
  • What farming on Mars would even look like

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NPR Frames the Artificial Lighting Debate

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As two more new farms are taking off, NPR sketches the arguments for and against artificial lighting. We checked that out a little more in depth here, but definitely read this article to get the inside scoop from Ted Caplow of BrightFarms and AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg.

Green Pie In The Sky? Vertical Farming Is On The Rise In Newark

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Can you actually explain what makes LEDs so special?

LEDs are improving vertical farming like never before

Last week, the three scientists who invented blue light emitting diodes received the Nobel Prize.  It was certainly well deserved, as this was nothing short of a revolution for lighting.  image

That revolution began with their invention 20 years ago and has brought us the newest in efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting.  These lights are so efficient that they have taken vertical farming from the pages of eco-utopian manifestos to tangible reality.

Navigant Research modeled a 63% adoption rate of LED lights for retrofitting projects by 2021.  The numbers speak for themselves.

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This is the first of a two-part piece that will explain what LEDs are in a way that anyone can understand.  First, I’m going to look at what ‘efficiency’ means for LEDs, and the implications of increased efficiency. Then, in part two, I want to show you the companies breaking new ground on the vertical farming applications of LEDs right now.  Click to the next page and let’s get started.