Courtesy of Wally S., Wally’s Urban Market Garden, Saskatoon, SK
Farming is inspiring a lot of creative thinking. Planners and academics are envisioning skyscraper farms costing millions of dollars. It remains to be seen whether any of these indoor systems will ever be built, or be sustainable. In the meantime, here’s one of my approaches to vertical farming.
- Technology: wooden privacy screen trellis
- Cost: A few hundred dollars, including labor
- Growing space: 1/10 of a segment
- Crop: cucumbers
- Revenue target: $96 – $120 gross over several weeks of harvest
This isn’t going to get me on the cover of Fast Company. But it does illustrate SPIN’s improvisational, low-cost, quick-to-monetize style. It’s how small players can enter the urban agriculture scene, quickly and cheaply. They become the CEOs of their own businesses, without having to make a huge investment, and they fill in the cracks of local supply and demand in a cost-effective way.
Gee-whiz agriculture is great for students who need to challenge their intellect, or planners looking to add some glitz to their portfolios. But if you want to make money growing food, check out cukes. The above revenue target is based on my conditions in zone 3.There are cukes that produce for a long period of time, and given conditions in different zones, the sky is literally the limit.
SEE ALSO: Curtis Stone’s post on how SPIN-Farming economics stack up to vertical farming here.