Metro Stations Are Being Turned Into Vertical Farms

An innovative way to grow organic vegetables.

Jan 22, 2023
Metro Stations Are Being Turned Into Vertical Farms | An innovative way to grow organic vegetables.

In recent years there has been a spate of new ways and places to grow food: on warehouse roofs, in old tires, on top of bus shelters, etc. But now, the city of Taipei, Taiwan, can pride itself in being the only city that has a farm in a subway station.

A vertical smart farm
The farm, aptly named Metro Fresh, is located in Taipei Nanjing-Fuxing station, reported Euro News. The 40 meter big space hosts rows upon rows of produce being grown vertically under sterile LED lighting. 

Vertical farms have become more and more popular in Taiwan, as the younger generations are more interested in more lucrative technology jobs than they are in traditional farming. In addition, smart farms have the advantage of being sterile, hydroponic, and organic, which is a draw for many people who have become concerned about pesticides used in traditional ground-based farming.

“One thing that most people are worried about is the unavoidable use of pesticides in traditional land based farming,” Julia Yang, an executive and Unimicron Technology, the company behind Metro Fresh, told Euro News.

The farm’s organic produce and fresh salads are sold at stalls on the third floor of the metro station, reported Interesting Engineering.

Efficient use of space
Taiwan is a small country that is home to a large number of people.It has a population of about 23.57 people and is only 36,197 square kilometers. This means that it has to take advantage of every square foot of available space in order to keep its citizens well fed and self-sufficient. 

This is why the advent of smart farms like Metro Fresh is so important. They are less labor intensive than regular farms, are less subject to the whims of the weather, and most importantly have a high yield for a small amount of space.

"Right now our production yield is about 180 bags of lettuce, each bag is 200 grams. We can produce 180 bags of lettuce each week," Winnie Chan, deputy manager at Unimicron told Interesting Engineering.

This technology could be used in other small and crowded countries such as Singapore and Malta, reported Euro News. Vertical farms, like Metro Fresh may be able to feed the world from even the most sunless places.

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Tiki is a freelance writer, editor, and translator with a passion for writing stories. She believes in taking small actions to positively impact the world. She spends her free time reading, baking, creating art, and walking her rescue dog.