Gotham Greens just raised $310 million to expand greenhouses that grow food closer to several major cities. The new sites will be located outside of Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado. They will be operating 13 greenhouse farms by next year, growing fresh produce close to urban areas. The savings are enormous, and the quality is high. They even built a greenhouse on a Whole Foods Market roof in Brooklyn.
Does This Save Water
They grow their produce hydroponically. Circulated water containing nutrients constantly streams through the root systems. The water has oxygen and nutrients the plants absorb through their roots. Any water not used by the plants is recycled. This helps Gotham Greens use 95% less water than traditional agriculture.
The Growing Season
The greenhouses are temperature controlled using sun and wind power, providing a 365-day growing season. This offers local customers fresh produce year-round grown with fewer resources and less waste.
What About Terroir
I can taste the soil in the wine is a term muttered in many tasting rooms. It also is used for many other edible plants. So how does the perfect environment impact the taste of the produce? For many people, the produce from the greenhouses is the best they’ve had. Indeed, eating veggies from a field or fruit directly from a tree is the best tasting. This gets to your table pretty fast, and as a result, many think the quality and taste are exceptional. In addition to great taste, there is less fuel waste and longer life on the shelf, reducing food waste.
Is This The Future Of Farming
By the year 2050, the world population will exceed 9 billion people. We will have to increase worldwide food production dramatically to keep up with the growth. In the U.S. alone, we expect an increase of 117 million people. This is a real challenge; The world will have to grow more food with less water. It’s estimated by the Environmental Defense Fund between 15% – 20% of irrigated land will be taken out of production. This means growing more food with less water, and it also means higher food prices for everyone.
Growing food locally in greenhouses will not solve the water issues we face today, but it helps. The solution will not be one, a magic bullet by itself. It’s going to take others trying new ways of growing. Technology like Jain Logic and soil moisture sensors play a big part. As well as changing our eating habits. There will be changes in the amount of meat consumed and significant changes in the dairy industry. It is an exciting time to be involved with food and agriculture, and some of the brightest minds in the business are moving to the industry because of the importance of the challenges. Undoubtedly, we will win the water battle and produce better-tasting food with less water. At Jain, we like to call it more crop per drop.