Trailer Bike Share Farm

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It takes a lot of en­ergy to grow food. It’s cal­cu­lated that, be­tween the fer­til­iz­ers and the trans­porta­tion, it takes up to 10 fos­sil fuel calo­ries to pro­duce a sin­gle calo­rie of food en­ergy. That mas­sive car­bon foot­print is one rea­son for the resur­gence in ur­ban farm­ing, a con­cept that is not ac­tu­ally new – the farms of Brook­lyn fed New York City cen­turies ago.

Today, many ur­ban­ites want ac­cess to healthy, or­ganic food with­out neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. New York­ers are be­ing fed by green-roof farms like Brook­lyn Grange. In Mon­treal, Lufa Farms grows veg­eta­bles hy­dro­pon­i­cally un­der glass. In Sin­ga­pore, Sky Greens sprouts pro­duce in a nine-me­tre ver­ti­cal farm filled with ro­tat­ing trays of veg­eta­bles. How­ever, in all of these it­er­a­tions, the pro­duce gets de­liv­ered by truck, so there is still a car­bon foot­print.

That’s why this ver­ti­cal farm on a bike, de­signed by Bei­jing’s Peo­ple’s In­dus­trial De­sign Of­fice dur­ing a 72-hour hackathon in Seoul, is not as ridicu­lous as it looks. The idea is sim­ple: In­stead of con­sumers go­ing to the store for pro­duce, Bike Share Farm brings the gar­den to them via a hy­dro­ponic sys­tem mounted to a pair of bi­cy­cles. Un­like other ver­ti­cal farms that use grow lights, it’s truly so­lar pow­ered – the pho­to­voltaic pan­els har­vest en­ergy for the ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem, while the plants grow un­der nat­u­ral sun­light. By skip­ping the mid­dle­man, the bike farm is ul­ti­mately bet­ter for both the con­sumer and the planet, de­liv­er­ing car­bon-free leafy greens to your door. It’s an idea that needs some re­fin­ing, but it may well be a pre­cur­sor of the next big thing in ur­ban food de­liv­ery.

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