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Vertical farming takes off in aging Japan

19 Comments
By Karyn NISHIMURA

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Long overdue.

For a country with limited resources and land.. Vertical farming, indoor farming is a good way to keep food security safe within Japan itself.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I’m glad that Japan is doing this too. I knew about vertical farming for a number of years now, and never even thought about Japan having it. Obviously a great idea, considering not only the aging population, but the very limited arable land available.

and with the technical capabilities of Japan, they can easily pull this off. And I’m glad they’re really making headway on this apparently.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Essentially the same story has popped up several times over the past decade. Nothing new here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If they build underground it would take no space and less heating expense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's a cave system somewhere in or around Tokyo being used for growing rice. City vertical farms are very good because they are more environmental friendly requiring less transport and more so if they are using renewable energy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm all for cheap, quality vegetables year-round!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WELL DONE JAPAN !!..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hope the costs are reasonable. with some excess buildings in relatively central locations coming available, this may be good news.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Singapore have many vertical farms.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are they as tasty and also nutritious as outdoor produce? Safer because less or no pesticides are used? Why is that worker wearing a space suit and mask? Is sterility necessary?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They use no soil for growing. No pesticides.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wait a sec, I thought people hated factory farms?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Price gone down. Not even.

World leader in vegetables export are the Netherlands after the USA, can you imagine ?

Japan can do 100 times better and could feed for cheap its population.

Guess who is impeding that from happening ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Guess who is impeding that from happening ?

You?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think the biggest advantage of vertical farming is that we can grow vegetables in the city center.

This may make it easier for e-commerce providers to supply on-demand vegetables to urban dwellers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, lettuce, tomatoes and some strawberries. That's great. You can feed a whole lot of people with those.

Guess what crops won't be grow indoors (using huge amounts of resources btw): potatoes, corn, wheat, beans, pumpkins, peanuts, eggplants, blueberries, apples, pears, okra, bananas, peaches, mangoes, radishes, onions, carrots, melons, rice, you get the point. Pretty much everything else that requires the Sun.

If all the old farmers are hitting the bucket or unable to do the work, maybe younger people need to reevaluate their lives and realize that someone has to grow the food they eat. Less time in the office and more time in the fields.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Globally renowned firms such as Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu have tried their hand -- converting old semi-conductor production lines with varying levels of success.

Bare in mind that there is a considerable amount of investment required when setting up one of these facilities and is is extremely difficult to re-use an old building which has not been deigned from the beginning to have very tight environmental controls. The big three mentioned in the article above already have decommissioned facilities sitting idle which have paid off their initial investments.

The advantage with growing indoors is that the produce being grown has a known rate of growth etc, so they simply become a commodity. Buyers/sellers can lock in a price for the produce months in advance and know that it will be delivered on time without concerns about the weather affecting production.

Recent advances in LED's have also reduced the power required, as well has optimizing growing conditions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It s just a tradeoff between

1) manpower + land vs

2) electricity & cost of capital

In most countries 1) is much cheaper

Once we get very cheap electricity like fusion and advanced automation with AI, vertical farming will be much more attractive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guess what crops won't be grow indoors (using huge amounts of resources btw): potatoes, corn, wheat, beans, pumpkins, peanuts, eggplants, blueberries, apples, pears, okra, bananas, peaches, mangoes, radishes, onions, carrots, melons, rice, you get the point. Pretty much everything else that requires the Sun.

You might want to educate yourself on container crops before making such a claim. A simple search online shows that plenty of crops can be container grown.

Also, all plants need light to grow and you can get that in greenhouses with special lighting.

Excluding what you have already listed as that which can be container grown lets see what else can be.

According to thespruce.com:

Potatoes, eggplant, peppers, peas, squash, cucumbers, radishes, arugula

balconygardenweb.com lists:

beans, chilies, Asian greens, spinach, carrots,

daviddomoney.com lists:

swiss chard, salad onions, herbs

diyncrafts.com lists:

basil, zucchini & summer squash, parsley (I am sure Dill & Mint are on the list too), strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, oregano, Rosemary, chives, bananas, thyme, sage, kale, quinoa, collard greens, watermelon, cauliflower (broccoflower is likely one you can grow too), pole beans, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, turnips, asparagus, artichokes, parsnips

familyhandyman.com lists:

banana peppers, leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, microgreens

gardeners.com lists:

4-5": chives, lettuce, radishes, other salad greens, basil, coriander

6-7": bush beans, garlic, kohlrabi, onions, Asian greens, peas, mint, thyme

8-9": pole beans, carrots, chard, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, leeks, peppers, spinach, parsley, rosemary

10-12": beets, broccoli, okra, potatoes, sweet corn, summer squash, dill, lemongrass

gardenerspath.com lists: (now it is harder to not list what we already know)

The Best 11 Vegetable Varieties for Growing in Containers

Beans

Beets

Chard

Chili Peppers

Kale

Lettuce

Onions

Radishes

Spinach

Sweet Peppers

Tomatoes

Better Homes & Gardens (www.bhg.com):

Beets: Direct seed into a 2- to 5-gallon window box.

Broccoli: One transplant per 5-gallon container.

Cabbage: One transplant per 5-gallon container. Or with small varieties, one plant per gallon container.

Carrots: Direct seed into a 2- to 5-gallon deep container. Thin to 3 inches apart.

Cucumber: Two transplants per 5-gallon container. If using vining types, grow on trellis or cage.

Eggplant: One transplant per 5-gallon container.

Green Beans: Sow directly into a 5-gallon window box.

Kohlrabi: Direct seed into a 5-gallon container. Thin to three plants.

Lettuce: Direct seed or transplant into 1-gallon or larger container. Thin to 8 inches apart. Thin to 8 inches apart

Onion: Direct seed into 1-gallon or large container. Thin to 2 inches between green onions; for bulb onions, thin to 6 inches apart.

Peas: Direct seed into 5-gallon container. Grow taller varieties on a trellis. Thin to 5 inches apart.

Pepper: One transplant per 5-gallon container.

Radishes: Direct seed into 2-gallon or larger container. Thin to 3 inches apart.

Spinach: Direct seed into 1-gallon or larger container. Thin to 3 inches apart.

Summer Squash: Direct seed or transplant, two plants per 5-gallon container.

Swiss Chard: Transplant or direct seed four plants per 5-gallon container.

Tomatoes: Transplant one plant per 5-gallon container.

Winter Squash: Direct seed one plant per 5-gallon container.

Texas A&M University (agrilifeextension.tamu.edu):

Suggested Container Grown Vegetables

Name (Container Size, Number of Plants) – Varieties*

Broccoli (2 gallons, 1 plant) – Packman, Bonanza, others

Carrot (1 gallon, 2-3 plants. Use pots 2 inch deeper than the carrot length) – Scarlet Nantes, Gold Nugget, Little Finger, Baby Spike, Thumbelina

Cucumber (1 gallon, 1 plant) – Burpless, Liberty, Early Pik, Crispy, Salty

Eggplant (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Florida Market, Black Beauty, Long Tom

Green Bean (2 gallons minimum, space plants 3 inches apart) – Topcrop, Greencrop, Contender, (Pole) Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder

Green Onion (1gallon, 3-5 plants) – Beltsville Bunching, Crysal Wax, Evergreen Bunching

Leaf Lettuce (1 gallon, 2 plants) – Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl, Romaine, Dark Green Boston, Ruby, Bibb

Parsley (1gallon, 3 plants) – Evergreen, Moss Curled

Pepper (5 gallons, 1-2 plants) – Yolo Wonder, Keystone Resistant Giant, Canape, Red Cherry (Hot), Jalapeno

Radish (1 gallon, 3 plants) – Cherry Belle, Scarlet Globe, (White) Icicle

Spinach (1 gallon, 2 plants) – Any cultivar

Squash (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Dixie, Gold Neck, Early Prolific Straightneck, Zucco (Green), Diplomat, Senator

Tomato (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Patio, Pixie, Tiny Tim, Saladette, Toy Boy, Spring Giant, Tumbling Tom, Small Fry

Turnip (2 gallons, 2 plants) – Any cultivar

View more Easy Vegetables to Grow (https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/solutions/easy-vegetables-to-grow/)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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