Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Billion Dollar Home Employs Hydroponics for Energy Efficiency

Mukesh Ambani, the Indian billionaire ranked 5th on the Forbes list of richest men, is devoting part of he and his family's 27-story home in Mumbai to growing hydroponics crops.  You might wonder, Why?  Well, unfortunately, it's not because Ambani is actively endorsing vertical farming, like some other well-known men.  No, instead, it's primarily an economic concern:
Hanging vertical gardens dot the exterior. While they make for good decoration, their key function has to do with energy efficiency: The hydroponic plants, grown in liquid nutrient solutions instead of soil, lower the energy footprint of the home by absorbing heat and sunlight and providing shade that helps keep it cool.
The architecture firms of Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates are responsible for the design of this $2 billion skyscraper home, so I think we can safely assume that hydroponics is catching on as a financially viable design element within the architecture community.  We'll take it.

This massive complex won't be considered a vertical farm, not even close.  But it certainly will add to the growing body of work demonstrating that the ideas we've been promoting for the past decade are, in fact, the ideas for our cities' future.  With each 27-story billionaire's home that integrates any element of what a vertical farm will perform, the chorus of support grows louder and louder.  

Do you know of any similar developments that we should share with our readers?  Let us know via email--theverticalfarm@gmail.com.  

(Check out the full story (and pictures!) here)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reforming the Chicken

Dana Blankenhorn over at Smart Planet published a nice article about the FDA taking some initial steps to curb our outrageous food system towards something more sustainable, humane and less fattening.  Here's an excerpt from it:
We’re fat because we are reacting rationally to the incentives government has placed in the food supply market. These incentives favor quantity over quality, protein over vegetables, and things like corn syrup over cane sugar.
Change the incentives in the production and manufacturing of food, I argue, and consumers will respond. Just saying “eat healthy” when you have an unhealthy production system won’t get the job done.
I recommend heading over there to check it out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


=Roasted Beets + Fried Egg

Scrub beet. Wrap beet in foil, skin and all. Roast beet in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil (carefully!). Wash beet under cold water and scrape off skin with spoon. Dice beet and mix with vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Top with fried egg, however you like it. Break egg yolk and enjoy slowly.