ARTICLE: Indoor Farming: The New Natural
When it comes to indoor farming, the objections follow a similar pattern: Isn’t that just like a greenhouse? Why use artificial lighting when you could just use the sun? But mostly: Isn’t that unnatural?
There might be nothing quite like getting your hands dirty in your backyard plot and eating produce fresh from the field. But in today’s world of high demand for quantity and sustainability, we have to think outside the box. For scalable, affordable produce, indoor farming offers something those backyard plots just can’t.
What is indoor farming?
Indoor farming creates an environment for produce to reach its potential. The process involves growing completely indoors in a natural, stable environment. Plants can can grow without being destroyed, harmed, or affected by unpredictable wildlife or weather.
What are the benefits of indoor farming?
Sounds artificial? Far from it. It’s simply a safety net for your food to grow as best as it can.
When crops grow outside, they deal with many variables that affect the growing process: unexpected cold fronts, drought, animals, and soil contamination. These natural conditions can be less than ideal in many cases. Outdoor farmers spend a great deal of time, resources, and money trying to manage the soil and environment to create suitable growing conditions. By eliminating these factors and giving plants perfect conditions all year, plants no longer have to fight to survive in cold temperatures or extreme heat waves.
With controlled LED lighting and temperature, plants have a more accurate amount of light needed for photosynthesis, helping retain nutrients and stay fresh longer. This means better produce in less time—and wherever you want. The indoor farm creates the opportunity to farm everywhere and anywhere: extreme cold, tough soil, or dry desert. Food is fresh and locally-grown, all year long.
But the impact goes beyond just quality. Because of the accuracy and predictability of this method, no crop ever goes to waste. Partnered with the fact that indoor farming uses significantly less water than traditional farming, farmers save money and time by using a fraction of the resources.
For both farmer and customer, this means costs don’t have to skyrocket and we use our resources more responsibly.
How we farm indoors
For CubicFarms, the mission is reducing costs, accessibility, and resources, including using 1/26 of the water compared to traditional farming.
Our specific system is designed to grow large quantities of leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens. Each machine is 40 x 8 x 8 feet with 230 grow trays and can work inside any shipping container, climate controlled building, or unique POD structure. As well, the online control system allows for monitoring of climate, temperature, humidity, CO2, and airflow by the touch of a button.
Who can be an indoor farmer?
The hope of vertical farming is to make it accessible for anyone, which means the methods are created as a series of teachable and repeatable steps. This makes it possible for current produce distributors, retailers, importers, and wholesalers to become their own supplier. Product can be grown near the point of distribution or consumption and the long travel times are reduced or eliminated.
Get involved with indoor farming
The first step in becoming a part of this agricultural movement is assessing your needs and resources as a farmer. What kind of produce quantity do you need to grow? Do you have access to the necessary equipment? Are you ready to broaden your scope of farming?
Wherever you are in the process, CubicFarms is passionate about education and awareness. Contact us for more information on indoor farming and the future of agriculture.