The High-Tech Vertical Farmer


(electronic music) It might look like we’re
inside a spaceship, but this is actually a farm. (buzzing) The crops here are
grown mostly by machines with the help of just a few
humans, like this woman. Her life offers an early peek
at a new kind of farming. It’s a promising twist
to an ancient career, but only if the robots don’t
replace her altogether. (upbeat music) As technology replaces old jobs, it’s also creating new ones. I’m Aki Ito, and I’m here to show you the jobs of the future. (upbeat music) My name is Katie Morich,
and I’m a vertical farmer. Katie works for a three year old startup called Bowery. (intercom buzzes) Its farm is here, in this
industrial park in New Jersey. How are you? It’s the last place you’d expect to find any sign of life. We take extra precaution
to make sure we’re not bringing any
contaminants into the farm, so we’re gonna wear
hairnets, and then this is just gonna cover all
your street clothes. Katie wears a clean uniform every day. Visitors like me are handed
a non-negotiable jumpsuit. Alright. Step inside and you’ll see a cross between a factory and a lab. (shimmering notes) Trays of produce are vertically
stacked to save space, and each of them is given
just the right amount of light, water and nutrients at the optimal temperature and humidity. It’s an incredible level of precision, which is why Katie can
grow more faster with less water and no pesticides. (shimmering notes) It’s also what let’s her grow things that taste like nothing you’ve ever had before. What’s this? This is the sorrel. Mmm. That tastes like candy apple. Whoa!
That’s good, right? It’s so sour.
I know. The majority of this
facility is automated. (electronic notes) The data is collected by sensors and a computer controls growing
conditions for the crops. For the things that the
machines can’t do yet, Katie and her fellow
human farmers fill in, and even those tasks are dictated by the software that runs
this whole operation. It lets me know what I have to do, what time I should be doing it by, and that’s how I get my day done. Do you ever, like, rebel
against the computer’s orders? Uh, once in a while, if we’re trying to do a little experiment of
our own, we’ll be like, okay, is the system telling
us the correct things? Most of the time it is. All the time it’s right. (laughs) After a full day at the farm, Katie likes to bring home
samples to her husband, Jase, (blender whirrs)
and her cat, Burt. (blender stops) Salt, pepper? Maybe a little more…
Garlic? On the menu are two
items from Katie’s farm. Basil, for pesto pasta. That’s so good. And mixed greens for a salad. I’m terrified, everyone’s judging. Cheers, guys. Cheers.
Cheers. (bottles clink) Katie fell in love with environmental science in college, but after graduating she struggled to find a
full-time career in the field. Jase had to deal with me a lot (laughs), you know, coming home to me crying and trying to figure out if
I’m making the right decisions. And then, somehow,
online, Bowery popped up. She told me about this
job, like, Bowery Farming, it’s like an indoor, vertical
farm, and I was like, alright, this sounds like total BS. So, I took my work truck
and I said, “You know, let me swing around and see
what this is all about.” So I drove up to it, doesn’t look like there’s
a farm in there at all. So I called her and I was
like, “Listen, I know you’re psyched about this job, but
it seems super sketchy.” But I figured I’d go and
check it out for myself and I pulled up and it was
exactly as how he described, but I gave it a shot. And so in 2017, Katie joined Bowery. She became employee number nine. (door shuts) This is really my first real,
full-time, big-girl job. (indistinct chatter) And it was a little intimidating at first, coming into this company
with people that have like, their PHD and I don’t
necessarily have that background, so I constantly doubted myself when I first started at Bowery. I wasn’t worried about
her at all, you know. She said to us, “Can I do this?” And I used to tell her to have
a little faith in herself. Katie grew up in a
typical New Jersey suburb with two working parents. They’ve tried to stay away
from putting too much pressure on their only child. When we heard about what she was doing and realized that this is
something that didn’t exist when we were younger and I
thought back from my generation, you know, PC’s came out
when I started working and my parents probably
would’ve said I was crazy if I went into an IT field at the time, but now look what happened. So, it’s not a good idea
for us to try to tell her what to do because it’s a different world. (beeping) Bowery is backed by some of Silicon Valley’s top investors. And with almost $30
million dollars of funding, the startup is expanding fast. And in May, after all that time
she spent doubting herself, Katie got promoted to lead
a team of her own farmers. The produce she grows supplies
a few nearby grocery stores as well as this restaurant in Manhattan. (pan sizzles) It’s less than 10 miles
away from the Bowery farm. What do you think? It’s delicious! (both laugh) You made that. It’s like, crazy to see
stuff I grew on a plate. Alright, let me get some of… But for Katie, it’s not just about making premium vegetables for
people who can afford them. I want people to have the
purest produce imaginable, and I want that to be
readily available to anybody. (electronic music) The world’s population is set to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. Two-thirds will live in cities. And we’re gonna need all
kinds of new technology to sustainably feed everyone. The key to making that food affordable is to continue to make
more with fewer farmers. But no matter how high-tech all this gets, Katie thinks there will
still be a place for her. I just think there’s something about the human mind that you
can’t really replicate. So I think we could still
work closely with technology, but I still think it’s
nice to have a human there. It’ll also be pretty lonely for the robots if they don’t have anybody
to talk to. (laughs) (beeping)

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100 thoughts on “The High-Tech Vertical Farmer

  1. How does a university education turn Katie in a brainless robot to work in a gas chamber to farm artificial food. It is time to say no to capitalism. There is no logic in their actions. Driven by profit and saving cost. Bloomberg news????

  2. Sci-fi called "Silent running" movie 1976 earth's environment ruined sent in space ship green houses to other planets had a similar concept.
    A future use for all the empty retail buildings Amazon bankrupted maybe urban / suburban vertical farming.
    Have Honda's "Asimo" robot work there as well for a publicity stunt and public tours to inspire people .
    Excellent work thanks.
    Shalom

  3. اس طرح کی چیزوں کے علاؤہ پھل اور سبزیاں وغیرہ بھی بغیر زمینی مٹی کے اگانے کے پروگرام بتائے آ م سیب اور دوسری چیزوں جیسے ڈرائے فروٹ وغیرہ شکریہ

  4. There was allot more drama and pointless family background then there should have been. Vertical farming and automation is very interesting but not a weird job. I like Katie's fantasy that computers can't replace the human brain but then the computer would be lonely ?!? I know it was a joke but still. Finally, until we stop using single use tiny plastic containers to deliver our fresh produce, this kind of farming is not sustainable.

  5. This is how the elites will feed themselves while they let the rest of us starve in the ongoing collapse of the world ecology.

  6. This is a how to survive a nuclear winter etc farming project. The big they says they have farms just like this underground right now but then what is the point of this?

  7. Nothing new its simple hydroponics ineffecient and not as nutritionally dense as soil grown produce which also effects flavor my guess is like most start ups these guys are losing a fair sum of money theres a reason this isn't a widely used method of growing the general idea of growing things above water has been around for hundreds of years through permaculture the Aztecs used to have floating gardens above the lake that surrounded their capital city.

  8. This is about people working in high tech jobs, not necessarily about the tech.. So can people below stfu

  9. This can be set up underground, can work at night, can be used in space and on other planets. Automated, no pests, minimal water usage, no fertilizer wasted, no waste spilling into local areas. Only downsides are initial costs and running electricity costs, but both can be improved upon as solar batteries get cheaper and tech set-up becomes mass produced.

  10. So these are the pros and cons of in door farming at least in my opinion:
    Pros: nutrition flow can be highly regulated,
    Water is not lost but instead can be recycled
    Cons: High energy consumption

    Ergo: the costs can only hardly being minimized. But still I see great chances of the implications in deserts, where water and nutrients are scarce and energy is cheap

  11. Don't no….is it effective ….investment vs sale….??? How long the sale can't cover the investment…. 30 million usd bro….!!! Just to investment business of vegetables…. Huhhh….that why we must have PHD…

  12. My school took us to a vertical farm few years ago in London in the East end, a building in the middle of a business area. It was so fascinating and what was most interesting to me, was the fish farming. They used the fish excrement as nutrients for the fruits and veg.

    [Edit] it's is sad that patenting laws prevent this from being everywhere for all of humanity to benefit from it. The fact that information is a commodity and those who pay for it can exclusively access it, is specially the heartbreaking part of our profit driven world.

  13. จั่วหัวคลิปว่าไฮเทคฟาร์ม กรูคลิกเข้ามาดูมีแต่เรื่องของอิเคที่ ฝรั่งนี่ก็สะตอเก่งเหมือนกันนะหลอกคนคลิกเข้ามาดูเป็นคุ้มเป็นแคว เสียเวลามานั่งฟังเรื่องแมวเรื่องผัวของอิเคที่อยู่ได้ หาประเด็นไม่เจอ

  14. Are you sure that nutritions are the same? Are we unhealthy after consuming this kind of vegetables because of unbalanced nutrients in the vegetables?

  15. Slight correction on the intro.
    "As technology replaces old jobs it creates a smaller more specialized amount of new ones."
    That would be more accurate.

  16. Is Katie the startup? Why didn't her boss showed up? Is this a company that changes CEO? Why do we need to know so much about her life in understanding the factory? Why didn't you go in depth of the actual topic?

  17. STOP CALLING IT KALE. KIDS THESE DAYS ALWAYS MAKING UP NEW WORDS FOR EXISTING STUFF.
    KALE IS WEED
    DABS ARE HASH
    FLARBOLOME IS JUST CHEESE

  18. Energy/resource hogging automatef farms is the future? It depends. "We must produce more with fewer farmers" that was the most hillarious if not insane claim, people is the only abundant resource in that bright future of ours.

  19. "it might look like we are in a spaceship"… obviously reporter hasn't been in a space ship :eyeroll:

    Internet Astronaut with 12"

  20. The thing with vertical farming is you can only grow vegetables. You can’t grow corn, rice, or wheat.

  21. It looks like it could cut down on a lot of transportation costs in the United States where so much gets transported from the growing fields to someplace cold and not so warm and sunny. This would be a natural for the Middle East without the water resources of other growing fields,

  22. question how much did you pay to go to college? do you use your education? could you have done this job with out it

  23. Yes, this video is meant to be about Katie. Katie and her job. This series is called "Next Jobs", not "how vertical farming works".

  24. How about stopping humans from breeding? We don't need a over populated world , wild live needs space to !!!!

  25. Video is about an employee, in a series about jobs.
    Comments are 90% people talking about the industry, not the job.
    If you want more information about vertical farming, those videos are out there. This video is a video about employees in a vertical farm.

  26. What's in the water, I mean where do the plants get their nutrients from? Is it something like an aquarium fert?

  27. I have been in favor of different styles of vertical farming for 40 years. I am surprised not a single person on any youtube mentions what is in the plant nutrient wise. Brix readings , microbial content. also the beautiful VF are wasting space and the cost of the produce is 100 times that of regular VF. Points more to a marketing plan than food production.

  28. 95% less water, but: What about the high amount of electric energy and therefore CO2 emissions to grow food which increases climate change effects? This no-soil agriculture uses far more fossil fuel energy and causes more climate problems.

  29. The plant can't tolerate any foreign contamination people eating them will also have to be living in such a controlled environment

  30. What a stupid video?. Instead of letting the viewers know more about the technology, we are told about Katie's life!. What the fuck!.

  31. Myself Saiu M George from India. Am a farmer..am interested in this vertical farming. Can you please share your contacts, do that I can contact you and collect the details.

  32. I'll be impressed if I can do it with onions potatoes corn wheat variety of squashes melons and watermelons pumpkins basically things that need a lot of soil

  33. This type of farming isn’t practical on a worldwide scale. You need those traditional farmers spanning across the globe busting their asses over large lands making enough in production to fuel the appetite for the worlds population.

  34. I know that feeling of not being able to find a job and that feeling walking in with others having a higher education than I.

  35. Im tired of living in the city. I want to live in the country side and have a farm with lots of animals and fresh produce.

  36. The farmers add made me cry and sad because he was going to sell his land but happy at the end the didnt and jump into the next level of farming.

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