According to reports at Next Energy News, Las Vegas will again lead the nation on the technology front by building a 30-story farm. The Vertical Farm will supply enough food to feed 72,000 people. From what we found out the food will mainly be used for the casino hotels.
The concept/design work should be finished in the middle of 2008 and then the ground breaking will start. The project should be finished by 2010 and cost $200 Million. The location and exact dates are not yet available but I am sure the world will be watching this advancement closely.
With an annual revenue of $25 Million and $6 Million in operating expenses per year this Vertical Farm will net a $19 Million dollar profit per year in just produce and possibly another $15 Million in tourism. Sounds like a great business deal, but does it?
I am sure there will be some backlash from the traditional farmers from the Midwest, Prairie States and California. These states provide most of the Las Vegas produce currently. I am not sure about the technical specs but I hope the tomatoes don’t taste like hot-house. Does Vegas or the state of Nevada have a conscience or do they need one?
I am sure some farmers will be hurt by this latest advancement, but Vegas is into reinventing itself and I guess it expects the farmers to do the same.
I do not understand some of the selling tactics for this project. Why do Nevada officials need to demonstrate their environmental awareness on waste and excess. The process currently goes like this: Produce is bought from farms, delivered to Vegas and then disposed of by throwing it away, composting or giving to the older gentleman who feeds it to his pigs, (thanks “Dirty Jobs” Discovery Channel). The only excess is when the Las Vegas Resorts order the wrong quantity. The only thing the process changes is the origin of the produce and not where it comes out in the end (pardon the pun). If anyone has an answer on how rotting produce harms the environment let me know and I will stop composting.
I understand the future is coming but at what expense. Will the US Government have to subsidize the farming industry again? I hope the people in charge are a lot smarter than me and really thought this out to the last possible solution.
Don’t get me wrong, I love new tech and think the Las Vegas Vertical Farm is a cool idea. I wish I came up with the funding and sold it to Nevada.
Here is an excerpt from http://www.verticalfarm.com
The pictures/concepts were designed by Chris Jacobs
Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
parts of plants and animals
VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
VF creates new employment opportunities
We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
and land for agriculture