Article in TechSavvy - "The fields are moving into vertical farming, and it offers some obvious advantages"
Pesticide-free, controlled climate and close to town. There are some clear advantages to moving agriculture indoors in vertical farms, and the market is predicted to have a great future. In Denmark too, startups are building both farms and technology for the burgeoning market.
Jens Krogshede really just wanted to grow tomatoes and cucumbers on the terrace like so many others do. But with a background as a developer in the startup environment, the botanical project quickly moved in a digital direction.
"It started with the classic tomato and cucumber on the balcony. But then it came hydroponics in and I built my own little system at home. I found out that you could remove the soil - and didn't have to lug it up to the 4th floor in Copenhagen. And then you could buy LED lamps, so you didn't have to depend on the sun," explains Jens Krogshede.
That became his way into 'vertical farming'. Because the small home experiment showed some advantages of a digital, indoor agriculture.
“I grew a bok choy and I automatically went in and washed it before I needed to use it. And I thought: Why? It's never seen soil or pesticides – it's as clean as it gets. It was big and beautiful - and it tasted fantastic. It was such an eye-opener for what you can do," explains Jens Krogshede.
It ultimately became the startup 'Neighbor Farm' together with co-founder Sebastian Dragelykke. Since 2018, they have had 500 square meters of indoor space in a former car workshop on Frederiksborgvej in Copenhagen's northwest quarter. And based on the new form of agriculture, they today sell vegetables and herbs to a large number of prominent Copenhagen restaurants – several with Michelin stars – such as Alchemist, Aamanns and Jordnær.