FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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What is a vertical farm?
A vertical farm is a closed environment agriculture system often called "hydroponics". The farm is not influenced by outside weather and can create perfect growth conditions for plants, year-round. The plants are stacked on "floors", thus the name "vertical". This technology yields a large growth area with a minimal footprint. The seeds are planted in a soil-free substrate, and the roots gather all the water they need from water circulation in the growth trays. This means that water usage is at a minimum. No soil used means clean plants that do not need to be washed before consumption. This, in turn, gives higher quality and shelf life as well as less waste. With optimal conditions in a vertical farm, we can achieve a shorter growth cycle than in the open fields and a high and stable quality.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the combined concept of hydroponics and fish farming. Growing fish and plants in symbiosis is a technique dating back over 1000 years. Imagine fishponds where plants are grown on the surface utilizing the nutrients from the fish waste. At Columbi Farms, we will do this on a large scale. In the project Nutricycle, we will develop the technology needed to extract nitrate, phosphorus, and other essential macro- and micronutrients from land-based salmon farming. These nutrients will then be used to fertilize plants in our vertical farm.
What are some of the advantages compared to traditional farming?
We are dedicated to producing tasty, healthy veggies that are also good for the planet. Our crops will be grown with minimal water, and no water will be wasted. We use no soil, so no soil is depleted, and we use no pesticides or herbicides. This means we do not need to wash our produce before consumption. This is advantageous for shelf life, which increases by up to a week compared to traditional lettuce. In addition, by cooperating with the salmon industry, we hope to reduce the environmental impact of their industry as well as provide solutions for reusing valuable nutrients that are now considered waste.
To summarize, sustainably produced fertilizer, less food waste, less mileage on a truck, and high-quality veggies for consumption all contribute to sustainable production.
What will we grow?
We will start with lettuce, herbs, and leafy greens. We will develop growth recipes for various plants, such as peppers, berries, and more.