Freight Farms

An entire hydroponic farm in an insulated shipping container

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1 Review5.0/5
I'm also interested to see how their energy consumption compares. Most produce on east coast goes by refrigerated rail cars that use diesel. I remember finding studies some time ago while working on a local food project that show only ~25% of the energy needed to get from seed to table comes from transportation. The rest of it is from other inputs like fertilizer and packaging. Artificial lighting alone would be a big energy input here. Most of the grid electricity is still being supplied by coal, so you'd have to convert the pounds CO2 to get more of an even comparison. I think the biggest savings of hydroponics in the future will be the reduced water consumption and land premium as the world continues to grow, so no question this could have a fit for those reasons.
@startupjoshua You're right on. We're looking at the future of food production in an increasingly water insecure world where land is at a huge premium. Energy is a big concern and we continue to improve the efficiency of the system. We continue to see great improvements in our own system and grid power is becoming more sustainable as coal plants go off line and more renewable sources become mainstream.
This is one of the best agtech innovations I've ever seen. I visited a unit in Boston last winter to get a closer look and was hugely impressed. I'd love to see these stacked 10 high in undervalued industrial yards. Freight Farms has several units that have been operating in various climates for more than a year, allowing them to get some pretty specific data on unit efficiency and crop yield in a wide range of environments.
Big Hello to the producthunt community. I'm Brad McNamara co-founder of Freight Farms. We've been looking at this problem since way back in '09 and Im so happy to have Freight Farmers from all walks of life growing fresh local produce year round across the US and Canada. We've learned so much from our farmers over the past two years and I'll do my best to share that with you here.
@carfreebrad Hey Brad, great to have you here answering questions! I think this is an awesome product but the best info I found on it was through 3rd party articles (some quite old) rather than through your own site. Are you still in an improvement phase on the product or just haven't focused as much on the web presence yet? Among the many potential benefits - lower environmental impact, creating food in underutilized spaces, having fresh local ingredients just for the taste - which do you find is the most compelling to your customers? Is there a different market for each (sustainable farmers vs chefs/food community vs ?) or one in particular that you're targeting?
@ecetweets Like most, we're constantly improving various aspects of the system currently on the software side to empower Freight Farmers with more and better sharing of knowledge. The most compelling benefit has been quality paired with consistency. The fact that it's grown in various underutilized spaces makes it a real option for our customers who can actually implement the farm when space is not convenient or available. We work with corp and university campuses, wholesale fruit/produce distributors, restaurant/hospitality groups and small business farmers at this time by allowing each to grow food, create jobs and move toward food independence.
Interesting idea - a cloud-connected hydroponic farm inside an insulated shipping container so people can grow local produce year-round, even in the middle of a terrible winter like we have now. An 8x40 ft container is supposed to grow as much leafy produce as a 1 acre plot of land on a traditional farm. Goal is great but would love to see more data to back up the claim. It's true that all the greens being eaten right now across the Northeast & Midwest are traveling hundreds of miles to get to consumers - how does the environmental impact of shipping compare to the resources needed to sustain a Freight Farm?
So what if I wanted to bring one of these to Burning Man?
@chrismessina Then you should definitely give us a call. We can suggest a great generator to run the Leafy Green Machine off the grid for a few days.