What is vertical farming? Why is it growing in the UK?

Lettuce farming, vertical-style.

Vertical farming is where crops are grown, usually indoors, in stacked layers. The farmer can control the environment – lighting, temperature and water provision – without having to suffer the vagaries of the weather. For reasons that should be obvious, it is an attractive proposition in the UK.

And it is growing globally. in 2018, it was worth £1.72 billion and set to rise to £9.84 billion by 2026. Food cultivated by this kind of indoor farm production includes fruit and vegetables, until recently reliant upon traditional farming methods.

It is seen as a sustainable way to grow healthy food with minimal environmental disturbance. Both water and land use are minimised, and food supplies are not subject to changing weather, which can lead to food scarcity. When the vertical farm is built near the markets, transport costs and carbon footprints are reduced.

It can be carried out in specially designed buildings and in such places as underground tunnels, chipping containers, and even a chiller cabinet. The special trays are soil-less, and water can be supplied as water to the roots or as a spray mist. LED lighting can be adjusted to provide wavelengths to suit the crop being grown, and pesticides are not needed. The farmer has full control of the environment.

Enduramaxx manufactures rotationally-moulded plastic tanks of all sizes and types suitable for vertical farms. They are UV-stabilised, long-lasting and easy to maintain. The firm can supply all the fittings you need, and its experts are happy to advise. “We have well over 100 rainwater harvesting tanks as well as a range of specialist tanks for fertiliser dosing and potable water tanks for drinking water,” says the firm. “From 1000-litre water tanks to 30,000-litre plastic water storage tanks which can be interlinked to give larger volumes, we are sure we have a tank suitable for storing water for your application.” Call them on 01778 562810 to discuss.