Could Shipping Container Farms Grow Local, and Avoid Waste?
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Could Shipping Container Farms Grow Local, and Avoid Waste?

We all need to eat, but there is a prodigious amount of waste associated with traditional farming. From the massive amount of land and water it uses, to the pesticides it requires, to harvesting and transporting, it's not exactly what someone would call efficient. That's one reason that indoor farming has been growing in popularity over the past several years. It allows plants to be grown in a controlled environment, using as much as 90 percent less water, and plants can be grown year-round to feed people's needs.

Freight Farms is taking things one step further, though. According to Yale Climate Connections, they've created a portable mini-farm that's set up in a shipping container, of all things.

Farming Shipped To You

The 320-square foot shipping container farm may not look like much at first glance, but it will grow the equivalent of 3.5 acres worth of food in it. It requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and roughly 98 percent less water than a traditional farming setup. That's impressive enough, but the setup can be geared for practically anywhere, and any environment.

The idea that corporate campuses, college campuses, health centers, restaurants, and other businesses could grow their own food on-site is revolutionary both in terms of freshness and in terms of resource use. It would also have a cumulative effect. Rather than depending on centralized growing locations, which food then has to be transported from, the idea is that thousands of smaller, localized farming units could allow everyone to have access to fresh food while using far less in terms of resources. It would also lead to less food waste, as there would be no worrying about food left behind on the ground at the farm, or food lost in transport. It would also provide maximum time, since it could be plucked from the container and put on the shelf in the same day, instead of after a few days of trucking and hauling.

Whether these are the wave of the future remains to be seen, but there's no denying they're certainly far more efficient than the old-fashioned way of doing things.


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