High-tech farming: The Light Fantastic (1)

For this post, I am drawing on an article in the Economist titled: “High-tech farming; The light fantastic. Indoor farming may be taking root”.

According to the article, leafy crops can now be grown locally in urban settings, as technology is harnessed to grow crops 22/365 (22 hours a day, 365 days in a year). In this article, it raised the idea of abandoning the sun’s light for the artificial one, and this is not new or radical idea. Artificial light offers plenty of advantages: sheltered from the volatility of seasons or weather, and growing around the clock. But as Grace mentions in her blog post “Ecological Light Pollution #6: Damage to Trees”, night lights can affect the growth cycle of plants, making them grow more than necessary, and more than optimally.

From The Economist

But in this case, artificial and night light is more of a benefit than a problem. If crops can grow more, isn’t it better? Crops can grow faster, producing food more readily and efficiently! Of course, the 2 hour deficit (from an all-day long lighting) is necessary, for the plant’s equivalent of sleep.

Work cited: 

The Economist, (2014). The light fantastic. [online] Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21602194-indoor-farming-may-be-taking-root-light-fantastic [Accessed 27 Mar. 2015].

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