As growth in global population continues to pose risks to our resources and space for future generations, many companies have taken the initiative to tackle these problems. One such company is Freight Farms, a group that is specifically solving the issue of space and food in a new and innovative way.
Founded in 2010 by Brad McNamara and Jon Friedman, Freight Farms manufactures high-volume crop production units using old freight containers to maximize space and create units that can produce crops year-round. Their main product is known as the “Leafy Green Machine” and comes pre-assembled for immediate use. Measuring in at 320 square feet and 7.5 tons, the Leafy Green Machine box contains all the tools that you would need to start growing your crops.
The Leafy Green Machine uses the vertical growing tower to maximize the space inside the freight container, creating space for 4,500 plants to be grown in 256 towers. The plants are watered using an overhead drip irrigation system that works with the vertical setup. Also included is a climate control system that allows the user to control temperature, CO2, and nutrient levels to optimize plant growth and also allow for different types of plants to be grown. The system even uses red and blue LED lights to provide the optimal lighting conditions for photosynthesis to occur.
With the Leafy Green Machine, a user would make weekly yields of 500 full lettuce heads, 50-55 pounds of hearty greens, 35-45 pounds of herbs.
Freight Farms has even developed an app called Farmhand that makes managing the conditions in the Leafy Green Machine as easy as possible. With the app, the user can remotely monitor and change the temperature, humidity, nutrients, and pH levels inside of the individual systems. The app also allows the user to track and plan ahead for tasks such as seeding, germinating, transplanting, and monitoring the growth of the plants.
With all of these great features, however, comes a hefty price tag. The cost of the Leafy Green Machine right now sits at $85,000. Not only that but the cost of operating the system is quite expensive as well. Freight Farms estimates that the monthly cost of operating the Leafy Green Machine system with water, electricity, and supplies is around $1170.
Every day, space becomes more and more valuable. The rise in global population and the effects of climate change have forced us to assess the way we live our lives and the way we think of space and food. Freight Farms is offering one possible solution to such an issue with a product that uses space and technology very efficiently. Right now, the product is quite expensive and most likely not a viable alternative to buying store bought vegetables for the average consumer. However, as the Leafy Green Machine and other similar technologies become refined further and further, I believe that this method of farming could revolutionize the way we use our land for agriculture.
Written by Lewis Berger