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Publisher's Summary

When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America's food, water, and energy crises, he didn't just think big - he thought up. Despommier's stroke of genius, the vertical farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including:

  • Allowing year-round crop production
  • Providing food to areas currently lacking arable land
  • Immunity to weather-related crop failure
  • Reuse of water collected by dehumidification of the indoor environment
  • New employment opportunities
  • No use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides
  • Drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels
  • No crop loss due to shipping or storage
  • No agricultural runoff
  • And many more!

Vertical farms can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams. They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labor. They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting gray water back into drinking water.

In the tradition of the bestselling The World Without Us, this is a totally original landmark work destined to become a classic.

©2010 Dickson Despommier (P)2010 Tantor

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Excellent Brainstorming - Not reality

I absolutely love the dream of this book. My excitement while listening was at 5 stars, but... Unfortunately after study, the book is based on wishes as well as present technology. It is a mix with enough functional technology blended with wishful thinking, to have confused me, initially. I started to 'buy the whole package'..... Fortunately, my Ag background raised resistance to things like, where all the light 'power' might come from, it is a major problem for indoor growers. Then, I looked into his proposition of plasma gasification. That seems to be a dead end for the moment. Plasma gasification plants have been tried in the US, and should be again, but none are working, and the plants have closed. Most plants in other countries (one reported in Germany took US$500 million down with it) have also given up.... For now, I feel like I have listened to a techno version of a Dan Brown novel - believable, but functionally fiction. I wish it were true, maybe this is an image of things to come....

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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A much needed concept

A lot of background and history, but I like that kind of stuff. The author finally gets to the main subject and treats it well. The four stars are mainly for the great concept.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wilcox
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 11-07-14

Eye opening...

The Vertical Farm does a great job explaining the science and economy of an alternative method of farming. The description of hydroponics and aeroponics were very informative. The author makes a great case for the feasibility of this method of food production.

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  • Ira
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 04-28-14

Wanted more on how a vertical farm work less histo

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The topic of this book is very important to me for I do believe that the author is correct that vertical farming is workable, and we as a nation are doing little to prove or disprove its practicality. In the reading of this manuscript I was most disappointed that the author did not write more about the actual workings of vertical farming. The authors seem to move more in the direction of historical and philosophical facts.

What did you like best about this story?

That a book was written in the first place about such an important subject. The book itself was disappointing to me although I do believe that scientifically vertical farming is an answer to many of the world's problems.

Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

What a stupid question to ask about a book such as this.

Any additional comments?

Much more should be written concerning the possibility and practicality of vertical farming. I do believe that in the future despite the lack of interest now being shown by our government to such an important subject that prototypes of vertical farming will prove to be successful.

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  • Andrea
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 10-21-13

This will save our planet...this is the future!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It will change the way you think about how your city is supplied with food, and just how vulnerable and precarious our food production and distribution system is.

What other book might you compare The Vertical Farm to and why?

The Singularity is Near. By Ray kurtweil both books speak of profound changes coming in humanity's future. Enevatibilities that will revolutionize future human life.

Which scene was your favorite?

The whole thing!

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That current agriculture practices are both destructive and unsustainable.

Any additional comments?

Everyone should listen to or read this book. The concept has the ability to solve many of the major problems that threaten our very existance.

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  • Jason
  • Arcata, CA, United States
  • 10-06-11

Substance or Theatre?

If you are looking for a book to convince you that vertical farms will be a necessity in the next 100 years, this is your book. If you are looking for a book that will give you a guide illustrating how one might build a vertical farm with practical, existing technology, this is definitely not your book. He is heavy on history and reasons for urban farming, which I'm all for, but he is light on any practical insights on how one might do such a thing. C-

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a deeply fascinating topic

this is a hugely fascinating and thought provoking topic, well written and narrated. but man would i kill for a whole lot more in depth discussion on possible designs of the facility itself and all the myriad impacts this could have on human society if widely adopted.
in short MORE! MORE! MORE!
well worth the credit.

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