The term “farmer’s tan” may soon lose all significance, as the ancient art of cultivation moves indoors. A startup called Bowery Farming has caught the attention of investors and food experts alike, and as the urban farming industry grows, so too do these new companies’ wallets.
Bowery Farming has just raised $7.5 million to help grow more food inside, even within a city. It’s all contingent upon some pretty snazzy technology, including robotics, LED lighting, computer vision, sensors, and data analytics, TechCrunch explains.
At the heart of Bowery’s operations is what it calls “post-organic vegetables.” Basically, all of the company’s produce are grown sans pesticides and depend upon a high-tech operating system.
“By meticulously monitoring the growing process and capturing a tremendous amount of data along the way, we’re able to remove the age old reliance on ‘eyeballing,'” Bowery notes on its website. “We can give our crops exactly what they need and nothing more — from nutrients and water to light.”
Within its space-saving vertical farms, Bowery depends on LED lights to mimic the sun, and uses a highly efficient irrigation system that promises to use 95 percent less water than other agriculture.
“It doesn’t take much to see that agriculture is at the epicenter of so many issues facing the world today,” Irving Fain, Bowery’s CEO and founder, told Co.Exist. But entrepreneurs like Fain believe that urban farming could be a novel solution to a longstanding problem.
“With all the technological advances we’ve seen in the last decade, it is now possible to have reliable, consistent production in agriculture,” Fain noted in a statement. Bowery certainly isn’t alone in its mission — vertical gardens and hydroponic systems abound in a number of major metropolises. For example, there’s a robot-run indoor farm to be found in Kyoto, Japan, and a slew of smaller projects urging individuals to grow their own produce inside their city habitats.
So if you’re looking to eat local, you may want to start looking at eating inside.