Vertical Farming - diversify into beer production
Here at Vertivore, we firmly believe that the future of agriculture is vertical farming.
To some, that may seem like a bold statement to make but recently, it was predicted that by 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow by another 2 billion people, and quite simply our current methods of growing produce will not be able to feed the growing demand.
This also means that more than ever, industrial development and urbanization in the UK will increase drastically, resulting in even more land being used up every day.
Enter vertical farming; agriculture’s latest innovative solution to helping producers provide crops regardless of land reduction and stock demand.
But what is vertical farming?
Traditionally, people associate growing crops in large volumes in fields, being picked or harvested during the warmer months of the year and then shipped out to businesses all around the country.
However, a vertical farm grows the plants and produce all year round in a secure chamber with LED lighting and strategic placement within a solid structure. These seeds are bedded into the finest substrate so the crops can begin their journey in a cosy germination chamber. We like to call this process ‘pampering to perfection’.
Each row of substrates is then stacked and transplanted into trays to allow them to spread their leaves and mature into greatness. Stacking the trays uses much less space than growing the plants on the ground, maximizing the available space and allowing us to grow many more crops!
What are the advantages of vertical farming?
There are many benefits to vertical farming; the process is an innovative, futuristic solution which relies on the worryingly fast decreasing amount of rural land predicted for 2050.
The process offers a larger volume of product production as vertical farming allows us to produce more crops from the same square footage of the growing area.
Other advantages include:
- The process allows us to grow our crops with 70-95% less water than that required for traditional farming. This is another valuable step in the right direction towards ethical farming.
- Vertical farming is protected from the brunt of the unfavourable UK weather, providing greater certainty of harvest 365 days of the year. As we like to say, the crops enjoy the benefits of 'Summer' all day every day!
- Crops are produced in a well-controlled indoor environment and the system allows us to grow pesticide-free and organic crops.
Where does beer production come into it?
Here at Vertivore, we work hand in hand with our sister company, Lab Culture, to produce a range of eco-friendly beers, directly from the farm itself.
The brewing process takes advantage of the wasted heat from LED lighting used for the Group’s vertical farm. The method came about during a brainstorming session on how to fix the issue of waste heat, and the team thought there was no solution other than brewing beer! Who doesn’t love beer, right?
The unique system creates several types of craft beers all big on fruit and hops, including a pale ale, an IPA and a session rye IPA. Some of our speciality brews, including the Lime & Basil Saison IPA, are created with crops grown in the farm for that extra delicious taste.