What if you wanted to eat locally produced and reasonably priced fresh organic fruits and vegetables during cold winter? Now it is possible, thanks to shipping containers.
Companies such as Freight Farms and PodPonics have introduced a new business model that converts second hand shipping containers into high-quality greenhouses that can be relocated almost everywhere. Every shipping container is manufactured according to ISO standards and they are also designed to be stacked into multiple layers. This enables the establishment of even bigger greenhouse complexes.
One major advantage of container farms is that now farms can be located closer to the places where the food will be eaten. Thereby, say, restaurants can minimize their shipping costs and still offer their customers fresh and high quality food. Also the technology associated with the business ensures a safe plantation of fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Damien Chivialle‘s model of urban farm units (UFU) has a system that uses live fishes and to to fertilize and recycle the farms water. Every container has a fish tank whose water flows in a closed circuit. The fish feces are broke into pieces that are utilized as fertilizers. The system also produces some methane for the farms secondary energy source. (source)
Also PodPonics’ solution is said to use 90 % less water because the water is recycled. The roots grow in water, not in soil. This solution minimizes the use of fertilizers and enables the adding of nutrients only as needed (source). PodPonics’ and Freight Farms control systems can both be operated with a smart phone.
The use of shipping containers as green houses seems to enhance the nutritional values of vegetables, herbs and fruits. It also enables companies to produce them closer to the people who end up eating them. Because of a really low Co2 footprint and lack of pesticides, urban farms create ultimate food safety. Now this food safety can also be enjoyed by average consumers because the cost of maintenance of urban farms seem to be feasible. For example PodPonics’ containers cost US 1800 to 2800 depending on their condition (source).
In order to establish an urban farm, shipping containers need to be purchased. Shanghai Metal Corporation is a reliable provider of internationally standardized shipping containers. More information can be found on our website (http://www.smccontainer.com). Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can also download our mobile application by scanning the QR code below.
Tuomas P. // SMC Editor
Pictures and original articles: Singularityhub, Designboom, Forbes, Overgrow the System, Pando Daily, Motionpictures blog