Southern Ag Center researchers look to vertical farms
BATON ROUGE - For years, government officials and activists have struggled to find a solution to the state's food deserts, areas where residents lack access to fresh food.
Researchers at Southern University's Agricultural Research and Extension Center believe they may have the answer: vertical farming. The researchers are looking at three different methods:
Aeroponics, or growing plants by nourishing their suspended roots with air or mist. No soil is required.
Hydroponics, growing plants using only liquid nutrients in water.
Aquaponics, growing plants and raising fish in one system.
Marlin Ford, an assistant professor of sustainable agriculture, says some preliminary data could be available within four to six weeks.
Ford says vertical farming offers a number of advantages.
Crops can be grown indoors, on balconies and in limited spaces.