Innovation That Matters

Vertical Field greens | Photo source Vertical field

Supermarket parking lots transformed into urban farms

Food & Drink

A company specialising in plant walls has started setting up vertical fields in supermarkets, allowing customers to buy food grown just feet away

Spotted: Farming startup Vertical Field is hoping to change the way we both grow and buy food – creating hyper-local urban gardens located right outside supermarkets. The company has recently partnered with four Israeli supermarkets to install indoor farms right on the premises, allowing shoppers to buy pesticide-free greens and herbs grown just feet away.

Vertical Field has been installing active living walls in indoor and outdoor spaces for around 14 years, but last year they partnered with the Rami Levy supermarket chain to build vertical farms at Rami Levy branches. The vertical indoor farms are built in the store parking lots and raise plants such as kale, lettuce, basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, peppermint, bok choy and spinach.

Not only do customers get extremely fresh produce, but the farms also cut food miles down to food feet, and save significantly on energy and transportation costs. The space-saving vertical containers grow the plants in soil under LED lighting. The company says that indoor vertical farming also uses 90 per cent less water than traditional field farming, and can result in a much faster growth cycle, from seeding to harvest. The system is also weather and pest-resistant.

Moreover, the idea is catching on. Noa Winston, marketing director for Vertical Field, says the company’s goal is, “to penetrate the global market. We have begun that process starting with the United States, where we have two farms, and we plan to continue to expand there. We are also currently developing several promising projects both in the field of vertical urban farms as well as vertical landscaping that will be launched in the USA, in Europe, and other regions.”

At Springwise, we have seen a growth in innovations aimed at creating urban farms. These not only use space that is often wasted to save resources, but also allow urban residents to get closer to nature. Some innovations we have covered recently include repurposing disused office space as an urban farm and an urban farm that resembles a tree.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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