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Vertical farming is a practice that involves the cultivation of crops on multiple levels in a fully enclosed environment equipped with optimal artificial lighting and an optimal atmosphere. The results? Fresher, better, and healthier crops that are grown without the use of pesticides and are available to those who may otherwise be unable to access them–especially those who live in urban environments.

Gus van der Feltz is the head of member relations at the Institute of Vertical Farming, which works to both promote and advance the industry of vertical farming, as well as look after the interests of its members. This includes ensuring that employees receive quality training, and that operations remain compliant with rules and regulations.

The benefits of vertical farming include the ability to closely control the temperature and lighting in various growing systems, and in some cases, increase yield. For example, under the best possible circumstances, a head of lettuce can be grown outdoors in about 60 days; in a vertical farming environment, the same head of lettuce could be grown in about 35 days.

In addition, the taste profile of vertically-farmed crops has been recognized as superior to those grown outdoors in an uncontrolled environment. But at least one challenge remains: lowering the cost of these high-quality crops.

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