Food production now accounts for more than a third of the earth’s arable land
With a global population that’s projected to reach 9-10 billion people by 2050, we’ll need to produce more food in the next four decades than has been in the past 10,000 years. Yet resources are increasingly limited; food production now accounts for more than a third of the earth’s arable land, and irrigation consumes more than 70% of all freshwater resources.
At Bowery, we’re addressing these issues and developing scalable indoor farms to feed an ever-growing population sustainably. But as we think ahead, one natural question pops up, “What’s beyond leafy greens?”
It’s a great point – after all, humankind cannot subside on kale alone. However the bulk of indoor farming, which has actually been around since as far back as the Roman Empire, still has not iterated beyond leafy greens and herbs. At Bowery we have a full team of agricultural scientists who are constantly working to both improve and continue to tweak the crops that we currently sell while also working vigorously on many new crops.
Our head of agricultural science, Susan MacIsaac, sat down with Chef Tom Colicchio and our CEO, Irving Fain, to share more about our latest R&D venture into root veggies. These vegetables are just a sampling of some of the new crops that we’re growing at Bowery.
The Bowery Approach:
We grow produce indoors with LED lights in a hydroponic system, fine-tuning the germination and growing time depending on the category and type of vegetable. For this root vegetable experiment, the radishes, turnips and kohlrabi all did exceptionally well. The taste was very unique; we brought flavor and vibrancy to crops that are generally seen as commodity vegetables that people eat begrudgingly in the winter.
You can read more about the flavor of one of our experiments, kohlrabi, from Quartzy here.
Everyday is different for the agricultural science team at Bowery! While we’re testing out root veggies, we’re also looking into other varietals. It’s an exciting time to stay plugged into what we’re doing and what will come next for the indoor farming field.
Special thanks to everyone who attended our Fireside Chat with Chef Tom Colicchio, and River Park for hosting.