This vertical farm uses only natural light for photosynthesis and heat. Shockingly Fresh uses a type of vertical farming that can produce four times more food than regular farming. Their method also uses a lot less electricity than other types of vertical farming, relying on artificial LED lights.
“It is ultimately better for the environment. I can’t say it’s carbon-neutral but it isn’t as carbon-hungry as an LED vertical farm would be,” the aptly-named Nick Green, development director of Shockingly Fresh, told The Guardian.
Unlike other producers, Shockingly Fresh’s use of natural light means they can’t keep up the 24/7 production like other companies that rely on artificial light do. However, the company stresses that they still match the consumption needs and use far less electricity while doing so.
“Production isn’t completely linear as it would be in a fully-lit vertical farm, but people don’t eat as much lettuce in winter as they do in summer,” he explained.
The Offenham greenhouse was completed this year (2021) and is already producing lettuce and Pak Choy. For the winter, they are planning to grow strawberries. Offenham covers only three acres but can still produce 2 million heads of lettuce per year. Shockingly Fresh’s next projects, still in the planning phase, will be 32 acres big.
A variety of solutions for food production close to the consumers help inspire a more optimistic view of the future.