Tafline Laylin

Freight Farms Allow Anyone to Grow Food Anywhere in Recycled Shipping Containers

by , 12/02/11

shipping containers, urban farming, recycled materials, green design, sustainable design, eco design, food miles, recycled shipping containers, urban farms, modular, energy-efficient, LED, LED grow lights, photovoltaic panels

The Boston-based founders of Freight Farms have found an urban farming solution that can work anywhere and for just about anyone. These amazing recycled shipping containers are outfitted with climate and system controls that allow even the most inexperienced person to grow virtually any kind of produce at any time of year. A subsistence farmer? Grab one shipping container. The neighborhood green-grocer? Why not grab a few? In any case, pesticide and herbicide-free freight farms can be stacked anywhere, creating an scalable, sustainable solution to our pressing food challenges.


shipping containers, urban farming, recycled materials, green design, sustainable design, eco design, food miles, recycled shipping containers, urban farms, modular, energy-efficient, LED, LED grow lights, photovoltaic panels

Freight farms have numerous benefits. In addition to being very easy to implement, they increase the amount of fresh food available in any given city, enhance the local economy, and keep food miles to an absolute minimum. They are also designed to be as self-sustaining as possible and use natural pesticides (like ladybugs) instead of nasty chemicals. Rainwater is harvested and then filtered for use on the produce.

LED grow lights keep overall energy use low, though what little energy is required to maintain an optimum interior environment is mostly provided by photovoltaic panels placed on the top of the shipping container. Jon Friedman and Brad McNamara have listed this truly groundbreaking Freight Farm project on Kickstarter, in order to get the funding they need to lift off the ground. They are doing quite well already, but if you feel like pitching in, feel free to visit Kickstarter for more information.

+ Freight Farms

Via Kickstarter

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5 Comments

  1. Paul John December 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    They can look very ugly sitting in the middle of an empty lot in the city. Maybe if they were painted, they would be more aesthetically pleasing.

  2. gfriend December 5, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Sorry to be the grinch, but this strikes me as remarkably silly. Using PVs to power LEDs to grow food in a box? Instead of in daylight? (Time for these people to read up on efficiency losses. Not to mention living systems.)

    “scalable, sustainable solution”?

    Not.

  3. ren-new December 4, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Terrific idea – and a practical solution for all kinds of lost spaces in cities. The fact that it is a kit lowers the hurdle to entry hugely, and makes this an interesting project to help fund (I’m one of the Kickstarter funders and they’re only 1/2 way in their funding with less than a month to go…). I’m supporting it because I believe it can scale, and of course be adapated / improved as more knowledge is developed or provided to the project…

  4. anothervoice December 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Not really any different than growing things indoors under grow lights. Better to use stacked shipping containers as a stability hub for lean-to greenhouses populated by aquaponics and/or hydroponics infrastructures and solar panels and batteries for supplemental lighting at higher latitudes. In this way, you’re using greenhouse solar heat gain to good advantage and not providing climate control for the boxes. Natural light is better for growing things economically and aesthetically.

    I suspect the designers relationship with growing things goes only so far as the produce section at their local grocery.

  5. Green Joy December 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Cool design! I particularly like the fact that they used recycled containers. This might not be a big thing, but it saves a lot of resources.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green)
    http://www.GreenJoyment.com

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