Freight Farms is a Boston-based agriculture technology company and was the first to manufacture and sell “container farms”: hydroponic farming systems retrofitted inside intermodal freight containers. I’ve heard of some larger row-crop producers adding these container units to their farms to create additional revenue streams, so perhaps it might be something to think about or consider depending on your proximity to urban areas.
Freight Farms also develops farmhand, a hydroponic farm management and automation software platform, and the largest connected network of hydroponic farmers in the world. The company has installed more than 600 farms around the world, on behalf of individuals, entrepreneurs, educational and corporate campuses, and soil farmers. The company’s mission is to empower individuals and communities to grow fresh and sustainable food locally, regardless of climate or location.
In 2010, while experimenting with rooftop gardening projects in the Boston area, Jon Friedman and Brad McNamara realized that shipping containers, common to Boston’s port, would make sturdy and standardized substructures for vertical farms. Furthermore, refrigerated containers feature insulation that would make it possible to maintain internal environmental conditions year-round in any location. International adoption of freight containers for transportation also meant such a vertical farm could be shipped anywhere in the world with relative ease.
In 2011, the two co-founded Freight Farms and, after a successful crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter, hand-built the first container farm prototype on the Clark University campus in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fast-forward to today, the company recently inked a deal to go public and did +$22 million in revenue last year. Freight Farms’ flagship product, the “Greenery”, delivers impressive results where you can grow the same amount of product as in a 2.5-acre open field farm and produce 1,000 heads of lettuce per week, all within a 40´ container.
Rick Vanzura, CEO of Freight Farms recently said, “We have uniquely positioned Freight Farms as a leading technology provider that focuses on serving farmers, so they can serve their local communities with hyper-local, hyper fresh produce. Freight Farms is distinctly differentiated from warehouse vertical farms by being a technology provider with proven customer economics, supporting hundreds of profitable, successful businesses with a wide range of commercially viable crops. Our growth strategy is anchored on three core pillars: standardizing farming processes and operations, enabling mainstream accessibility of advanced farming technology, and lowering barriers to entry from a location standpoint.”
You can learn more about Freight Farms HERE