Vertical

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40 hours) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Contributors: agronomists 

 

Objectives:
In this course, the students assess one of the major issues facing the future of farming: how to feed constantly growing populations with less and less arable land. In order to understand the magnitude of the challenge, the students draw up and define all the aspects required for what is known as  “vertical farming”, which they then set up in college.  

Workshops:
The Lack of Land
The contributor explains how the most widely used innovative techniques work: hydroponics, permaculture and aquaponics. During this phase, the students learn to handle the technical samples necessary for these methods: greenhouse  or other indoor location, connectors, seeds, etc. The students then set up a “traditional” plantation in class that will serve as a control to compare the germination and growth processes. They also analyse yields and product quality.

At a Height
A trip to a “vertical farm” is organised: how many “layers” of the crop are there? What yields does it produce and for what surface area? Is it an indoor installation or is it exposed to sunlight? What does it require for maintenance? This trip instigates the class’ project to find the ideal site and draw up diagrams, plans and technical drawings. A model of a standard installation is designed and presented to the Head Teacher.

Meeting Needs
What if the class had to meet their school’s food needs? The students calculate and describe the full programme that needs to be implemented to feed the school using their standard installation. At the same time, they are responsible on a small scale for the actual functioning of their installation. The projects are constructed and then installed in the college and the crucial monitoring phase is devised by the students: irrigation, lighting, temperature, nutrients.

 

Drawings: JACQUES FLORET

Vertical
Vertical
Vertical
Vertical
Vertical