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Freight Farms – combining shipping container reuse & food growth.
Freight Farms is a Boston-based company that manufactures “Farm-In-A-Box.” Forty-foot shipping containers are outfitted as farms.
The company was founded in 2010 by Jon Friedman and Brad McNamara. Their mission is to “create a more sustainable and connected food system by providing the tools that enable fresh food production in any environment.”
The Freight Farms strategy combines technology innovation, material reuse, and local food production. The insulated shipping containers (or Leafy Green Machines – LGM) come equipped with vertical hydroponics, high efficiency LED lights, and an automated climate control system.
There purchaser of a Fright Farm will be able to use the farmhand app to set parameters for ideal growing conditions, and monitor the conditions inside the shipping containers from afar.
The farm’s 4g hotspot allows users stay connected to their operation 24/7. Through the farmhand app it’s possible to monitor all the environmental components inside the farm directly from an iOS device.
There are currently Fright Farm containers located in the city at Katsiroubas Brothers, the Boston Latin School, and Harborside Produce located at Save That Stuff, Inc.
In cities, a container like this can help densify food production for the space required. And 365-days production is appealing, especially in Boston where there is a short growing season.
The Freight Farms are being used as an educational tool, and for commercial veggie production.
The lettuce really is superb, and because the plants aren’t grown in soil, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time washing them.
One thing we are still left wondering is how the nutrient content of these greens compare to ones grown in soil and outside. One of the issues of urban agriculture in Boston is severe lead contamination of urban soils. Freight Farms are a way to get away from that concern. But, it will also come with a high price. The cost of one Leafy Green Machine is $76,000.
Elli & Lina