In any zombie apocalypse survival situation, one of the biggest issues you will face is getting enough food. Indeed, if you can survive the initial outbreak and find yourself somewhere safe to hole up, it’s the need to find food which will most likely cause you the biggest problems. This is because you’re most likely to encounter the undead when you’re out and about looking for supplies. So what’s the answer? Well, you could try to build up a big enough stockpile that you rarely have to go outside, but this is always going to prove difficult and in may ways it’s only delaying the inevitable.
An alternative is to try to grow your own food. In principle, this is a great idea, but in practice, at least using traditional techniques, it will prove difficult to implement. This is because you will not only need to find a suitable place to grow your crops, you will also need to be able to protect it, and enclosing a sufficiently large area of land with zombie-proof defences to grow enough food to keep you alive will be a mammoth task.
This is where vertical farming comes in. What, I hear you ask, is vertical farming? Well, it’s where you grow crops not in large flat fields out in the countryside, but instead grow them in buildings, often in the middle of cities. With the right set up, you could simply wall yourself into a skyscraper or other large building, and never have to venture outside again.
So how do you set up a vertical farm? Well, there’s many different ways, but the one which would be of most use in a zombie apocalypse would be some kind of hydroponic system combined with a passive system for ducting light into all the dark little corners. The water within the system can be recycled, making it highly efficient, and, while you might not like the sound of it, human waste can be used as your fertiliser. Done right, and if you choose the right crops, you can have a continuous supply of fresh food. And of course, if you fancy a bit off meat too, it would be easy enough to add chickens, fish, and possibly even the occasional cow into your set up, feeding these animals on the left-overs of whatever you grow.
Of course, this is all idle speculation, but there is a serious side to this too. With each passing year, more and more of us are flocking to live in cities, and getting enough food into these cities to feed everyone is a becoming an ever more difficult task which soaks up more and more of our rapidly diminishing resources just to transport the food from where it’s grown to where it’s eaten. Vertical farming promises to revolutionise this outmoded food supply chain. With vertical farming, food can be grown right where it’s needed, with no need to waste resources on transporting it half way across the planet. In fact, within many cities, there’s more than enough space to grow vast amounts of crops simply by giving over the upper floors of each skyscraper over to vertical farming.
This, therefore, is the future, and while it might seem unnatural first, it is potentially a lot more environmentally friendly than traditional farming. The food miles vanish, the need for expensive fertilisers is eliminated, and, since it’s all done inside under carefully-controlled conditions, there’s no need for pesticides or any other chemicals. It may take a little time for us to shift our perception of what a farm actually is, but in the end, we’ll need to accept it as a suitable, and environmentally sound, way forward. And of course, if there was ever a zombie apocalypse, having a few ready-made vertical farms at your disposal might prove advantageous to your long-term survival!
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.