Indoor ag nears ‘the plateau of enlightenment’

Indoor ag nears ‘the plateau of enlightenment’
Agritecture's Henry Gordon-Smith at YASAI in Switzerland. Image credit: Agritecture

“We felt like we were doing a lot of things right. Only in retrospect [are there] a lot of lessons that we learned that I’d like to share and hope some of you can learn from the stuff that we experienced.”

Former VP Chris Cerveny was referring to his company — the now-defunct Fifth Season — when he said this onstage at Indoor Ag-Con earlier this year. But he might as well have been talking about the entire indoor agriculture industry.

It would take a sizable book to rehash the last 10 years of indoor agriculture, not to mention the litany of troubles the vertical farming and high-tech greenhouse industries have seen over the past 12 months. While this book has yet to surface, Cerveny’s point about learning from the past needs more attention nowadays as the indoor farming fallout continues against the backdrop of a larger tech downturn.

So-called futurists have historically scoffed at studying the past, with little room for it in the “move fast and break things” era. Thankfully, many don’t subscribe to that mindset.

“Understanding the past is something that will help us prepare for the future,” Agritecture CEO Henry Gordon-Smith wrote in 2021. “Unfortunately most of the newer entrants to CEA [controlled environment agriculture], whether farmers or investors, know little about the history of vertical farming.”

What follows is not an exhaustive survey of the last 10 years of indoor ag (though if anyone wants to team up on creating that, drop me a line.) But consider it a series of snapshots along a 10-year timeline, which we’re releasing in conjunction with AgFunder’s 10th anniversary, aided by AgFunderNews’ 10-year archive of articles and interviews on the industry, providing a glimpse into indoor ag’s last decade. And hopefully a look at what may come next.

Continue reading.



Hortibiz Newsradio
Tune in!

Hortibiz Newsradio

24/7 news and information

Stay up to date with Hortibiz Daily News.
Subscribe to Hortibiz Daily News!

Stay up to date with Hortibiz Daily News.

Horticultural news, market insights and technology

Career at Holland Hortimedia?

Career at
Holland Hortimedia?

Content manager m/f – Sales manager m/f

Ads from

Today on Hortibiz Newsradio, listen back to podcasts!