In a Munich, Germany office, 27-year-old CEO and co-founder, Maximilian Loessl, opens what looks like a small, stainless-steel refrigerator: instead, inside water circulates through stacked seedling boxes. High-powered LED lighting focuses on burgeoning plants like dill and basil, with distinctly crisp scents. This equipment allows a consumer to grow produce within a home kitchen; an App provides operating support. The product’s inventor, ‘agrilution’, is one of the companies leading the world in vertical farming.
Vertical farming is the production of food in vertically stacked layers or inclined surfaces, sometimes integrated within other structures; it is often used in urban areas with limited arable land. As the world’s population is projected to reach more than nine billion people by 2050, with particular growth in urban areas, sustainable and supplemental farming solutions are being searched for — and vertical farming is proving its potential.