For starters, vertical farms are indoors which gives the advantage of achieving a completely sealed-off environment and a highly controlled climate.
Secondly, LED lights are used instead of sunlight and the crops in vertical farms usually grow in either hydro (water), aero (air) or aquaponics (combining a fishpond with a hydroponic system). At Urban Oasis we grow on horizontal planes stacked on top of eachother. We start our growth process by placing seeds in plugs and leave them to germinate before transplanting the plugs to bigger trays. Those trays are then floating in the system until the crops are ready to be harvested. Other farms use for example zip-grow methods when growing the plants which means that you grow in tower-like structures with vertical openings for the plants.
Throughout the growth cycle the crops are enjoying ideal conditions tailored to their specific needs and light recipes ensure the optimal red-and-blue light color mix. A custom mix of nutrients is added to the water, and air is circulating to control the humidity and make sure there is an ideal mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Plus, as plants evaporate they produce water, that water is then condensed and brought back into the system. Residual nutrients are kept in a closed loop, preventing the nutrients from ending up in oceans and lakes causing eutrophications. One of the greatest advantages with combining the controlled environment and the tailored diet is that we don’t need to use any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.
The crops are totally clean and ready to be eaten as soon as we harvest them. Also, since the system is so reliable we consistently have high yields, great crop quality and fantastic taste all year round. This makes our planning much easier and we can avoid waste.