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Going Vertical for Food Security

 

In the Fall, our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Environmental Sustainability classes began a long-term project to address global food insecurity. As the global population continues to grow we must develop innovative solutions to ensure each person has access to clean water, abundant energy and food that nourishes the body. While the population is expanding, the amount of arable land (land that is suitable for growing crops) is declining. One solution to food shortage is vertical farming; which shifts from needing lots of open space to the ability to grow upwards using a fraction of the space. Vertical farming can be done inside any building with the right design and materials. The Environmental Sustainability students began by researching existing vertical farming designs and methods required for growing food indoors. The goal of the project was to design and build an indoor farming system that would allow people to grow nutritious foods inside; anywhere, anytime. Students worked in teams to design their own prototype and eventually create and test their prototype. Each team built its final product and planted the seeds for a variety of different vegetables. The vegetables are being tended to and will be harvested in May for a class salad!