Vertical Farming

Vertical Farming

We’ve written about urban farming before and took note when some crazy vertical farming pictures started popping up on our Pinterest page. It sure didn’t take long for vertical farming to go mainstream!  Of course, Preppers love vertical farming. You can grow a large amount of food in a small space and use recycled materials. What’s not to love?

Vertical farms grow plants from floor to ceiling or on multiple stories of a structure. On a large scale, there are some really cool designs for commercial vertical farms. Check out the pyramid farm and the office building farm here. Engineers in Sweden have also designed The Plantagon, a greenhouse structure that can be fitted onto existing skyscrapers.


And, take a look at The Plant, a new sustainable “farm” inside an old meatpacking building in Chicago. The Plant houses a vertical farm, small craft food businesses and breweries – and it only consumers the renewable energy that they make onsite.


If you want to see some amazing real structures, have a look at 39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens. Vertical farming allows you to grow more food in a smaller space with fewer resources. “If you have an acre of land you have an acre of land, but if you have an acre of land with four stories, you have four times the amount,” said Shelby Phillips, program manager at The Plant, a vertical farming space on Chicago’s South Side.

You can grow everything in a vertical garden that you would grow in a horizontal garden – even pumpkins! This is good news for people who are working on a self-sustainability plan because you no longer need acres and acres of land to feed your family. Even on a small scale, it’s easy to grow herbs in a vertical space. Herbs have many medicinal properties and go a long way when you’re cooking with basic ingredients!

We’ve found that Pinterest has the best pages for vertical garden ideas and instructions. While you’re there, be sure to Follow our boards too!

A good place to start, especially for those in the northern climates, is a basic window farm.  A window farm is a vertical, indoor garden that uses natural window light and organic “liquid soil.”


You can grow almost anything in a window farm. Starter kits are $200 to $400 from the WindowFarms store or you can make your own from soda bottles. If you want a true vertical farm, the FarmPhilly website is a good resource for learning about the different kinds of structures:

  • Integrated – part of a building structure
  • Modular – pieces that stack and move
  • Hydroponic – grow without soil
  • Compact – for small spaces
  • Repurposed – uses recycled materials

A cheap way to start your own vertical farm is by repurposing old construction and landscaping pallets (detailed instructions here) or here at Life on the Balcony.


Vertical farming is the next evolution of the urban farm. You can make your own out of recycled materials or buy an inexpensive kit. Either way, you’ll be one step closer to a solid sustainability plan.

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