Indoor vertical aeroponic farming is an innovative, resource-efficient, and soil-free plant-cultivation method that utilizes tall technology-supported structures and nutrient solution delivered in the form of a fine mist to grow a wide variety of crops and plants, from wheat to lettuce, basil and even tomatoes or strawberries.
Given my personal interest in future technologies, I targeted one of the most known indoor vertical aeroponic farms located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The target was selected mainly because of the potential that aeroponic farming has with regards to sustainable food production. I was curious what the viewers would pick up on with regards to the targeted aeroponic farming technology and its use. The tasking was straight forward, the viewers were tasked with describing the vertical aeroponic farming technology of Scissortail Farms in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the time of viewing.
Charlie Peralta, Jemma Warner, John Adams, John Dixon, Lily Efflorescence and Patrick Flanagan viewed the target.
Before diving in the session results, let’s establish the foundations about what vertical aeroponic farming is: aeroponic farming is an advanced form of hydroponic farming, aeroponics is the process of growing plants with only water and nutrients. This innovative method results in faster plant growth, healthier plants, and bigger yields, all while using fewer resources. Plants are grown in a soilless medium called rockwool, embedded in slots of vertical aeroponic towers. At the base of the towers a reservoir holds a liquid nutrient solution made of water and earth minerals and a controlled, low-wattage submersible pump propels the nutrient solution to the top of the tower. The nutrient solution is then misted and cascades down the inside of the tower, oxygenating and feeding exposed plant roots.
The technology is becoming increasingly popular due to the following reasons:
- Aeroponic growing systems can increase yields by an average of 30%
- According to NASA, plants grow up to 3 times faster in aeroponic growing systems compared to in soil
- Aeroponic growing systems use as much as 98% less water
- The vertical design requires 90% less space and does not require soil
- Pollution and pests are less of a problem, no need for pesticides
- Precision controls enable unparalleled performance for plants, resulting in standardized quality
- It makes weather-independent, year-round production possible
- Can be used where arable land is scarce or the soil is severely degrading
- It is not manual labor intensive
A general introduction to aeroponic growing systems is available here:
The actual target site is introduced well in the following video:
Let’s see now what the viewers picked upon!
Charlie declares natural as the main gestalt for the target and describes and draws larger and smaller circular shapes, noting they are equally spaced out, repeating in a fixed pattern or sequence. He describes the first target elements as bent, rounded, flimsy and slimy. He also picks upon a whirling, rotating motion which “dances”, spins slowly. Next, he puts down “plant” as an AOL. The repeating circular shapes are understood as the vertical growing towers, the upward whirling rotating motion as the representation of how the low-wattage submersible pumps propel the nutrient solution to the top of the towers, and the plant AOL as correctly categorizing the plants present at the Scissortail Farms.
Charlie then draws two parallel vertical lines which he describes as stalky, equally spaced out, and as “shapes within shapes”. His attention is drawn again to motion-energy, which he describes as steady and very precise, applying pressure, slowly working upwards, then slowly descending, and as motion inside a circle. He mentions a system of moving parts, consisting of many components with unique functions.
This data is again correct description of how the low-wattage submersible pump propels the nutrient solution to the top of the towers which then cascades down to oxygenate and feed the plant roots. At this point he also has conceptual data as goal, going slow, being efficient, as picking and choosing, steadily culminating to an event, and chaotically organized. From the feedback video we understand these datapoints represent the growing of the plants, and the harvest periods, when the grown plants are chosen and picked as ready to be shipped to the market.
Last but not least he describes bright, vertically massive, rounded target components with a unique function, things (plants) being sorted, categorized and stored in a crowded environment, and again slow kinesthetics, a goal-oriented process where “every part matters”, everything fits into place (quite literally so, since the plants are fitted into small crevices along the vertical towers), and the outcome is dependent on slow progression.
Jemma declares natural and structure as her main gestalts for the target. The structure is described as smooth, shiny, glossy, while the natural as soft, malleable, slightly bumpy. She notes down white, green, blue, and yellow as most prominent colors of the target at this stage. She picks up fresh air, natural tastes and sounds that resemble wind blowing, and temperature that varies between cold and warm. She also picks up motion at the site, which she describes as floaty, swaying, drifting, like being in water. So far, based on the descriptors in her session, Jemma made contact with the plants and the aeroponic towers, and also picked up on the aeroponic technology itself.
Her AI and the following conceptuals give us further insight into the target: iridescent, adjustments needed, higher learning, artificial intelligence, observe, order, hydro/hydration, “Feed the world”. Although she declares she feels the purpose is undefined, she connects to one of the major purposes of the technology: to produce food in a sustainable manner, in a water and resource efficient way.
She then moves on to describe curved formations, like tunnels with entrances, a warm, comfortable temperature, and has again very accurate conceptuals, such as agrovation, feasibility, harnessing power and manipulation.
What stands out in her session most is that from page 3 onwards her subconscious clearly broadens the scope of the target, emphasizing and showing us why aeroponic towers were invented in the first place. On page 3 she clearly describes an outside environment with rock formations, and a natural land that is hard, flat, dusty, dry, gritty, grey, brown, black, slightly salty like natural rocks, a warm temperature and some liquid, eventually drawing and describing a grey, desolate area with few rocks lying scattered.
You may ask why is this important with regards to our target? Well, she gives us all the clues in her data as to why. Her description above fits with how natural soils degrade due to increasing salinity. Sodic soils present challenges to farming, because they tend to have very poor structure which limits or prevents water infiltration and drainage, hence proper plant irrigation. Sodic soils also tend to accumulate certain elements like boron and molybdenum in the root zone at levels that maybe toxic for plants. The consequences of increasing farmland salinity are:
- Detrimental effects on plant growth and yield
- Reduction of water quality for users, sedimentation problems, increased leaching of metals, especially copper, cadmium, manganese, and zinc.
- Soil erosion ultimately when crops are too strongly affected by the amounts of salts.
The above image is of a soil severely eroded due to salinity. Doesn’t that look exactly like what Jemma is depicting in her drawings? It sure does, add to that that in her stage 4 matrix she AOL-s irrigation and notes “it is no longer needed, it is no longer in use”. Her sessions give us a key insight as to why aeroponic farming is increasing in popularity: it is seen as an alternative technology to locally produce crop where arable lands decrease due to severe soil deterioration.
John (Adams) declares natural and water in his first session and moves on to sketch and describe something smooth, and something metallic and wide, with additional descriptors of moving, pulled and a sense of dirt or sediment present. While the targeted farm Scissortail Farms uses vertical towers to grow plants in their later stages of development, the plants are initially seeded and grown in rockwool substrate on planter trays until they grow enough roots to be plucked into the towers, similar to John’s depictions.
John then goes on to note down descriptors such as rigid, coarse, white, floating, ornamental and AOL-s plant, the descriptors matching the Aeroponic technology itself.
Similar to Jemma, on pages 6 and 7 John also alludes to a sad land phenomena, involving natural land, sand, cracks and crevices, which -as we discussed earlier- is a possible hint to the worldwide arable land erosion phenomena, a major driver behind the development and use of aeroponic farming technologies.
John also notes down a great deal of data about a drifty, smoky/cloudy, floating phenomena, with additional remarks such as “seems natural”, “soufflé”, “ventilation”, “genesis” and “something important”.
Scissortail Farms did not indulge us with great technological details, but we found other videos that show how inside the aeroponic towers a pump is used to pump the nutrient water solution from the reservoir up toward the tower top, and how mist spray nozzles are used to create an oxygenated fine mist to feed the plant roots, just like how John describes the process.
In stage 4 John describes a natural outdoors water scene with plants, flowers, and greenery, and notes down concepts such as biology, consumed, absence, an important procedure and restitution with the AOL bioweapon. The concepts show great parallel with the purpose of the Scissortail’s aeroponic technology, a technological process to cultivate certain edible crops and plants in areas where it naturally would be much harder to cultivate due to climate and soil conditions. The bioweapon as an AOL seems odd at first but given that John later mentions bastardization (degradation, changing something in such a way as to lower its quality or value) and 2 other viewers also reported the same or very similar impressions and deduction, we will take a detour at the end of this analysis to see why this data piece resurfaces repeatedly in the viewers’ sessions.
In the second session, John focuses more on the actual cultivation process from a macroscopic, biological, and technological perspective. He starts off describing a biological, that is fragrant, brown, and pink, fine, velvet, spidery (shaped), oily and bioluminescent. This will make sense once we look inside one of those aeroponic towers and see how the fine, misty roots of the plants are situated in there.
John then mentions curved, rounded, circular parts and motion-energy that he describes as globular, engineered, precise, transparent, or invisible, bioluminescent, with conceptuals such as particles, atomic, modern and lifeblood, and a steady movement, something forming, taking shape, giving a great insight as to how in the aeroponic system the plants are nourished and grown. In his stage 5 he classifies the target as an industrial application, a great achievement with aspects of dislocation and relocation, which can be understood both as the relocation process that happen when the seedlings are relocated from the planter trays to the towers and symbolically as the relocation of producing crop from farmlands to the more controlled environments of aeroponic farms.
John (Dixon) declares motion, space-air and structure as primary gestalts. His initial impressions include circular, smooth with inputs or holes, granular, tin-like texture and sheet-like material with AOL construction material like.
He also notes down flowy and spicy among his initial impressions. He continues to describe a round structure with square elements and small openings. On the image below we can see how the towers are constructed from rectangular metallic sheets fitted and bent into circular rings that are then stacked upon one-another layer by layer, with the most prominent visual element being the slots where the net pots containing the plants get potted.
John continues to describe a hollow, cylindrical tube with openings and a flat bottom, clamp like and fan-like elements which are suspected to allude to the water pumps situated in the reservoirs of the tubes and has a very interesting conceptual: “fine-tuned matter”.
In a garden, many of the nutrients plants need exist in the soil, and a general-purpose fertilizer adds to those that are lacking. In aeroponics, everything must be in the nutrient solution, since it’s all that the plants have, and if anything is out of balance the plants will quickly show it. In addition to the hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen that plants get from water and air, they must also have calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, iron, cobalt, manganese, phosphorous and chlorine. Aeroponic nutrient solutions typically contain all these nutrients in the proper amounts. “Precision controls enable unparalleled performance for plants, resulting in standardized quality” Just like John (Adams) did, John (Dixon) also mentions that the target is perceived as “somehow dangerous”.
In his final summary, he describes the main components of the target as 1) identical looking cylindrical structures likened to obelisks, which are described as smooth, rigid, sleek, metallic, glossy, with divots and grooves 2) motion-energy, that is predominantly of downward orientation, with a cascading, swirling feel.
Lily starts off her session with impressions such as hard and liquid, angular, cylindrical, white, blue, brown, and tall with concepts such as a labyrinth, ebb and flow, mechanical, division, orientation and ducts. Her first AOLs are tower and waterfall.
The smells described are salty and acetone-like (pungent), the sounds as creaking, metallic, hollow, reverberating, the predominant taste is mineral and condensation, the air quality is described as misty, foggy. She describes a tall, beige and white manmade, a flow of water, and something that she likens to a gear, possibly rotating. She again draws and describes a manmade that reminds her of a tower, and at first multiple cylindrical forms stacked, later multiple semi-cylindrical columns laid out in a linear fashion.
As she moves on, her attention focuses on the water element, describing her impressions as salty water flowing or rushing by, noting that at times she feels as if being submerged, underwater. She also has impressions of a flowing wall of water, and water being contained as if in a reservoir.
She also draws and describes a fan like manmade that is metallic, partially submerged and rotates. As discussed earlier, inside the aeroponic towers a pump submersed in the reservoir is used to pump the nutrient water solution from the reservoir up toward the tower top, and mist spray nozzles are used to create an oxygenated fine mist to feed the plant roots while cascading down the tower. Her torpedo AOL is a good estimation for the small pumps used in aeroponics.
Some of Lily’s most on-point conceptuals include economic, current, conservation, alchemy, substrate, resource, crisis, restraining and controlling, advancement, harnessing, renewal, consumption, energy, gravitational, mechanical, electric and water flowing in a diverted, channeled way.
Lily’s conceptuals echo back the key points of why aeroponic farming technology is becoming increasingly popular: aeroponic growing systems can increase yields by an average of 30%, and make cultivation of crops and plants economically viable and feasible even in areas where it otherwise would not be due to climate or soil factors, they use as much as 98% less water, making it a resource efficient technology vis conserving water, the plants are grown in substrates with precise nutrient composition, enabling unparalleled performance for plants, resulting in standardized quality.
Patrick starts out with something wavy with a tall vertical component that feels man made. His first impressions include wavy, energetic, light, open, airy, green, blue, white, manmade, and hard. His attention is drawn to something tall and vertical that feels manmade and a motion that is rising, lifting upwards. He consequently AOLs a rocket.
The manmade he describes has a metallic feel, it is tall, vertical, narrow, curved, rounded, tubular, hollow, hard, shiny, polished and clanky that has sections, connected parts, cylinders, it is engineered, created, prepared. Patrick also describes several biologicals inside a boxy manmade. Up to this point Patrick is accurately describing and depicting the vertical aeroponic towers themselves, which are the key element of the target.
As he progresses in the session, he moves his focus to the other prominent gestalt he picked up: the energetic. The energetic component he describes as kinetic, rising, lifting, spreading, swirling outward from the center in a ring or circular form. He also describes a connection between the energetics and the biologicals contained in the manmade, noting down as if “something is being worked on”.
Like Lily, Patrick also has several conceptual and ambience data points, such as powerful force, game changer, chemtrail, radiation, dangerous, noxious, toxic, destructive, released and unsuspecting people.
Now the radiation and chemtrail can be deductions prompted by impressions that Patrick was getting on certain aspects of the aeroponic technology. In aeroponic farms, seedlings (and often the plants too) are treated with pink LED growing light to stimulate plant growth. John (Adams) had the descriptor luminescent recurring in his sessions, so it seems reasonable to assume that Patrick describes the growing light technology when he mentions radiation.
By definition “chemtrails” are condensed water of a vapor trail containing (harmful) chemical or biological agents that are dispersed. In this sense, the nutrient mist sprayed out through the misting nozzles in the towers is in many aspects like chemtrails, safe the harmful effects. Or maybe not?
Given that the key elements of the target site (the vertical aeroponic towers and their main technological components) by their shape and function induced AOL-s along the lines of missiles, rockets and submarines, the appearance of “danger”, “dangerous”, “weapon”, and “noxious” might be noise associated with those AOL-s. But given that by this point three viewers have picked up on and reported a potential danger associated with the technology, I did a due diligence to see if there is any information available on potential dangers of the use of vertical aeroponic farming technologies.
One of the more obvious safety risks that I found associated with Aeroponics is the microbial contamination of the plants due to lack of proper maintenance. Regular clearing and disinfecting of the growing chambers with Hydrogen peroxide (a pungent smell, Lily described it as acetone-like, indicating that around the time of her viewing, some of the towers were cleared that way and the smell still lingered) is a must if the farmers want to avoid their plants getting infected with harmful fungi and bacteria. The lack of proper maintenance however seems to pose a danger to the plants themselves, given that contaminated, infected foods are unlikely to make it to the markets due to strict food safety standards.
Given the controlled environment of the aeroponic tower gardens requires neither fertilizers, nor pesticides, it is generally considered safer than traditional farming. The one relevant issue I managed to find might be bioterrorism, an “act or threat of deliberate contamination of food for human consumption with chemical, biological or radionuclear agents”. Given that aeroponic tower farms produce large quantities of crops and plants in a relatively concentrated and confined space, the possible contamination of the water resources of the farm could be seen as a high-risk concern with regards to food safety.
We will update this report should any relevant further information surface related to the safety concerns raised by the viewers.