Graham Harvey: greenhouse-grown better than hydroponic

The Guardians Graham Harvey wrote today (Monday June 30th) that, despite the idea of vertical farming raising its head again, food grown in soil in greenhouses tastes and nourishes better than hydroponically grown food.

Mr Harvey discussed urban vertical farming as a way to combat the global food crisis but concluded that encouraging more of the population to start growing their own food in their greenhouses would be more feasible than moving commercial farming from rural areas to the cities.

He cites the experience of Cuba as a possible example: "Perhaps the answer lies in greening the cities – not in a vertical direction – but on the horizontal?

"This is pretty much what Cuba did when the flow of Soviet oil dried up and large-scale mechanised agriculture became impossible.

"Under the US trade embargo the people faced starvation. The result was a proliferation of small-scale organic farms that basically kept the nation fed."

In cities like London and New York, growing food is becoming more and more popular among savvy gardeners, looking to their greenhouses for savings on food.

Last year, Harrods began growing a range of crops on its rooftop, including lettuces, broad beans and tomatoes.