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How to grow food on a wall

Israel's "Fields of Tomorrow" exhibit at Expo 2015 in Milan shows how to grow food on walls. (EXPO 2015 Padiglione Israele)

Urban farms are taking root in cities around the world. But a vexing problem threatens to stunt their growth: a lack of space in congested settings, even for vertical agriculture production.

Now, Karin Borochov writes on From the Grapevine that a “gravity-defying” exhibition highlights a solution: growing food on the sides of buildings.

The concept is on display in the Israel pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan, which chose “feeding the world” as its theme. Guy Barness, founder of GreenWall and Vertical Field, is the brainchild behind the exhibit. His Israel-based startups specialize in growing small plots of food on walls. Borochov reports that Apple, Google, Intel and Facebook have implemented his farming technology in their offices.

There are numerous advantages of urban farming, the article emphasizes. Fresh food is easily accessible to local populations and doesn’t have to be trucked or shipped long distances. Farms in cities also build awareness about nutrition and provide city dwellers with opportunities to become weekend gardeners.  The Expo runs through October 31.

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