Agriculture
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Got Milk? How?
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Tree Frogs
Animals
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
Hot Pepper, Hot Spider
Walktopus
Behavior
Video Game Violence
Mice sense each other's fear
Surprise Visitor
Birds
Falcons
Cranes
Eagles
Chemistry and Materials
Sticky Silky Feet
Salt secrets
The hottest soup in New York
Computers
Play for Science
A Classroom of the Mind
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
Dino Takeout for Mammals
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Earth Rocks On
What is groundwater
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Environment
Where rivers run uphill
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
The Wolf and the Cow
Finding the Past
The Taming of the Cat
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Ancient Cave Behavior
Fish
Parrotfish
Nurse Sharks
Electric Ray
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Symbols from the Stone Age
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Deep-space dancers
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Surviving Olympic Heat
The tell-tale bacteria
Invertebrates
Krill
Crawfish
Squid
Mammals
Squirrels
Sperm Whale
Porcupines
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
Physics
One ring around them all
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Plants
A Change in Leaf Color
Seeds of the Future
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Reptiles
Sea Turtles
Turtles
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Solving a Sedna Mystery
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
A Satellite of Your Own
Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Reach for the Sky
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Where rivers run uphill
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Add your Article

Farms sprout in cities

When you hear the word “farm,” chances are you picture rolling hills in the country covered with cows and cornstalks. But some scientists, engineers and city planners say the farms of the future could rise straight into the air — in skyscrapers in the world’s most populated cities. It might sound far-fetched, but in fact, some of the technology for growing crops indoors already exists. The scientists stationed at the South Pole research station enjoy fresh salads every day from vegetables they grow in their own greenhouse. And the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, has been experimenting for years with methods for growing fresh fruits and veggies on the moon or even on Mars. Those in the know say bringing farming indoors solves a number of problems. First, traditional farming takes up a lot of land. In fact, it takes a plot of land as big as the entire state of Virginia just to grow enough food for all the people in New York City, says Dickson Despommier, an ecologist at Columbia University. That’s about 8 million people. Cities that grow their own food also would become more self-reliant, and less vulnerable to catastrophes such as hurricanes that can make it impossible for trucks to deliver fresh produce to grocery stores. In addition, fruits and vegetables grown outdoors face all kinds of hazards, from flooding to insect pests to weather instability, such as late or early frosts that can damage a crop. “What happens outside is lightning bolts strike, there are floods, pests, drought,” Despommier says. “You can control everything indoors. You can't control anything outdoors.” To top it off, by the year 2050, the world population will grow by another 3 billion. As populations grow, the land available for farming shrinks, raising an important question: where will we grow the food for all these people? Despommier and his colleagues say “vertical farming” — growing crops in skyscrapers tens of stories high — is the answer. Vertical farming takes up much less land than traditional, "horizontal" farming, and its advocates say it could provide new uses for hundreds of abandoned buildings in cities around the world. While vertical farms don't exist yet, their proponents say a well-designed facility could recycle water from indoor fish ponds and use that water to irrigate crops like strawberries, peppers and tomatoes. Crop waste, such as stalks and leaves, would be composted, and the gases given off from composting would be used to heat the building. Livestock such as chicken or pigs could even live in a vertical farm, their waste being recycled as a source of energy. But those familiar with the hurdles of growing crops indoors say it's not going to be easy to make the transition to vertical farming. "If I was going to play devil's advocate, I’d say it is going to be tough," says Gene Giacomelli, who heads up the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson. It can be tricky to regulate climate conditions indoors, he says. Maintaining the correct balance of humidity can be especially challenging. "At the end of the day, it is going to be raining in these buildings," he says. Plus, plants differ in their weather and lighting requirements. Tomatoes like warm, sunny weather, while greens like lettuce prefer cooler temperatures. And nearly all crop plants require lots of sunlight. Mimicking sunlight is challenging, but scientists are learning how to make artificial lights that produce the colors, or wavelengths, of light — especially red and blue — that crop plants need. Still, artificial, electric lights present their own challenges. First, overhead lights are inefficient, giving off the majority of their energy as heat, instead of light. One type of light, called a light-emitting diode, or LED, overcomes this problem, but Giacomelli says these are still too expensive for widespread use. That's not to say these challenges won't be overcome — but it will take time. Most experts suggest it would be anywhere between five and 15 years before the first vertical farms could be created.

Farms sprout in cities
Farms sprout in cities








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™