J. E. Bayley, M. Yu, K. Frediani

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Europe’s first vertical farm is currently being piloted with VertiCropTM at Paignton Zoo in Devon. It is experimenting High Density Vertical Growing as a sustainable solution to feeding increasing urban populations in twenty-first century towns and cities. The technology comes at a time when alternative land uses, such as biofuel and fiber production, are competing with traditional food production for the available soil and water resource. While increasing pressure is being placed on the managers of land to adapt and contribute to the mitigation of climate change through less intensive resource management. VertiCropTM (VC) is an integrated hydroponic approach that addresses the central issue of optimising resource use to grow crops near to where they are consumed, using the most advanced technology to ensure efficient crop production. Advanced irrigation equipment and a soilless culture removes the need for good agricultural land, while utilizing vertical space further reduces the area of land required to grow any crop. The pilot project grows 11,200 plants in a greenhouse of 100 m2, using a conveyor driven stacked growing system various micro greens, lettuce and salad mixes have been planted sequentially to provide a regular supply of fresh green leaves; with the primary focus of economic profitability, improved nutritional value and environmental enrichment to improve animal feeding regimes at the zoo. The potential of VC opens up the way for schools, hospitals and housing estates in cities and towns to grow their own vegetables, to reduce their carbon footprint and associated food miles. In the future, it will be possible to extend the research direction to include vertical cultivation of food, biofuels and medicinal crops, such as high market value pharmaceutical products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationXXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010)
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Symposium on Horticulture for Development
    EditorsR. Kahane, L. M. Martín Martín, A. Martin
    Place of PublicationLisbon
    PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
    ISBN (Electronic)9789066054509
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2011

    Publication series

    NameActa Horticulturae
    ISSN (Print)0567-7572
    ISSN (Electronic)2406-6168


    • food security
    • sustainable cities
    • intensification
    • hydroponic technology
    • urban agriculture
    • energy saving


    Dive into the research topics of 'SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION USING HIGH DENSITY VERTICAL GROWING (VERTICROP¿)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this