Move over, rooftop gardens and plain ol' plant walls. There's a new green technology in town. Like green roofs, edible walls provide a thick layer of insulating vegetation on the outside of a building to help reduce heating and electricity costs — but they go even further by also producing fruit, vegetables, and herbs in far less space than typical gardens usually require. Urban farming advocates are hailing it as a great way to lower food costs, increase nutritional quality, and cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The New York Times recently wrote an article on this emerging trend, focusing on the niche leader Green Living Technologies based out of Rochester. As its chief executive George Irwin says, "Instead of bringing food to the city, we're bringing the whole farm."
Mr. Irwin's company began installing green roofs and green walls. But when his children planted lettuce seeds in one of his green panels, and they sprouted, he saw the greater potential. As we know, edible walls are just one attempt to grow food in cities. As the NYT point out, Valcent Products builds greenhouses filled with hundreds of trays of hydroponic vegetables stacked on conveyor belts, while Sky Vegetables plans to build commercial farms on the flat roofs of hospitals, schools and food banks.
Read the whole article here.
Image: Marilynn K. Yee for The New York Times