by Crazy Poet

Crazy Poet Discovers Solution To Vertical Farming Challenges

Lawrence Ip
4 min readAug 11, 2021


Keep Reading & The House Gets Bulldozed!

Dramatic I know (it’s just one of those things). Nope, I won’t be making myself homeless as I do actually need a roof over my head. What I also need is to get this crazy idea off my chest before I do actually lose my mind.

You see, I was watching a documentary a while back, about future cities, off the back of a few others that were about farming, global warming and the looming food crisis, and they got me thinking about vertical farming, and the issues the industry sector faces — namely scale.

That was the first thing that struck me.

How on earth are we going to be able to make vertical farming a viable solution without disrupting the cities we live in, why heck, according to Pew Research world population is pitted to hit 10.9 Billion by 2100, with more and more folks migrating to cities. This begged a flurry of questions such as:

  • How are we going to feed everyone, and where on earth are we going to put the vertical farms that are supposed to feed them?
  • Will they really be able to provide the quantity of fruit and vegetables sustainably?
  • How much will they cost to build?
  • How much will they cost to run and maintain?
  • How do we store, pack and deliver the product?
  • What infrastructure does it require to make it work?
  • What about the effect on traffic?
  • What about the load bearing issues of weight on the structure of the farm, the actual building?

How on earth do we meet the challenges facing vertical farming?

Don’t get me wrong, I see incredible value in vertical farming and it could prove to be the answer to so many of the challenges we face ahead, because as we all know the way in which we produce the food we consume, and waste, is just not sustainable — not in the slightest. The globe’s arable land is fast diminishing, and at the current rate the entire globe will be facing starvation soon after 2060 — it’s a travesty just waiting to happen (if you haven’t watched it yet I can highly recommend watching), Kiss The Ground, it’s the documentary that got me started on the quest for answers.

A few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night, I had an epiphany.

Prior to going to sleep, I asked myself, what is the single most pressing problem you could solve that would provide the best bang for the buck?

When I woke from that sleep the answer came to me, it came down to answering the last question, which fundamentally is a design question.

Having previously watched a documentary series on super-structures, and thinking about logistics and transportation, it dawned on me that it was not a, how on earth question, but rather a let’s go to sea proposition.

I jotted down these two words on the trusty notepad I keep bedside…

Container ships…

That’s right, container ships!

The container ship leaving port.
Image Credit: Torben — UnSplash.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that what you see is what you get. What you see on the top deck is just part of the picture, container ships have just as much, if not more storage in their lower decks.

It was like WOW! It makes complete and total sense, well at least to me it does. Let’s outline the reasons why container ships could be the perfect vertical farm.

  • Container ships are designed to bare the types of load required in the design of a vertical farm.
  • You can move container ships around.
  • Container ships can have desalination onboard.
  • They are freaking massive.
  • They can be even more massive. Fun fact: when the size of a ship is doubled, it increases the surface area by only 25%.
  • Transportation logistics are a non-issue.
  • No need to reinvent the wheel. It wouldn’t take much to repurpose container ships that have been decommissioned.
  • Repurposed ships equals no scrap metal.
  • Access to the energy required to run them is at hand.
Docked container ship.
Image Credit: Bernd Dittrich — UnSpalsh

That pretty much sums it up, and hey, I’m no expert, but yes, I am a poet, and it really doesn’t matter whether I’m certifiable or not, I have at the very least put the idea out there. All I ask of you, is that before you send the men with the straightjacket around, that you consider the idea as a viable solution before discarding it. If anything I hope it provides some inspiration, maybe a spark of some out-of-the-box thinking of your own and I sincerely hope you found the read entertaining too. Thank you for making it this far. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Do you have a crazy vertical farming solution you’d love to get off your chest? Please feel welcomed and leave your thoughts below. Peace ✌

Image Credit: Bailey Mahon — UnSplash

#verticalfarming #containerships #crazypoet #sustainability #agribusiness #environment #innovation #climatechange #circulareconomy #design #energy #arablelandcrisis #foodcrisis #kisstheground #verticalfarmingchallenges #freightfarms #futurefarming #industrialdesign



Lawrence Ip

I node, you node, they node, we know'd. Everything is a node, with tale telling tales.