Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 14

vertical farming

Inside Metropolis Farms' operation,
no one on staff touches the fruits or
vegetables it produces without using
hypoallergenic gloves. Griffin says
no chemicals are used to control the
bugs because he added carnivorous
plants to his operation that act as the
terminator of all pests. "It's a more
inventive way than poisoning food,"
Griffin says. "When I grow food it's
feeding my family, friends and the
people I know. I want to deliver the
best food."
One of the biggest complaints
among vertical farm critics is that the
operations use too much energy and
the costs are prohibitive. Metropolis Farms designed its own lights,
rainwater recapture and solar power system, and has not had a gas or
water bill in two years. "We use no
resources from the grid," Griffin says.
"It's how technology moves. At first
you build something that is clunky
and difficult to use and then things
become better. There is a learning
curve and that's where we're at. My
100,000-square-foot roof produces
two million gallons of rainwater per
year and as the first solar array farm
in the world, I will have no electric,
water or gas bill."
Using its own technology, Metropolis Farms is producing strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.
"Tomatoes and strawberries are the
cutting-edge," Blume notes. "People
are experimenting in different ways.
Bell peppers and cucumbers are the
products we can expect to see next;
they are already in experimentation in
vertical farms."

14

By continually innovating and enhancing its technology, Metropolis
Farms has also debunked a lot of
what Kansas-based critic Stan Cox
has said about the concept. He has

told various media outlets that vertical farming is a pipedream and a
fantasy that requires "impossibly
extravagant quantities of energy for
artificial lighting." Cox is a research

>> Andrew Blume, North American regional manager at AVF, visits vertical farms in New York City.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com


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