Urban Agriculture & Shipping Containers – A Greenhouse in a Box
Shipping containers have been used to transport food and fresh produce around the world since they first hit the seas over 60 years ago. Times are changing however, and shipping containers are no longer being used just to transport food – they are being used to grow it.
Shipping container farms are increasing in popularity with a number of start up businesses around the world producing modified shipping containers designed to house portable grow rooms for a wide variety of horticultural applications.
These modified shipping containers allow users to sustainably grow food anywhere in the world, regardless of climate. This means that people will be able to enjoy locally sourced, clean and green produce, without requiring it to be imported from across the globe solely to keep up with demand. Not only this but it will cut down on the food miles, reduce its carbon footprint and reduce the operating costs incurred by transportation. With the rising costs of fuel transportation expenses are only likely to increase in the future.
Shipping container grow rooms are the ideal solution for those who are looking to get into growing their own produce when they have limited space. These modified shipping containers transform virtually any area into either a temporary or long term crop, regardless of location. Food can literally be grown anywhere that there is some flat space, a power and water supply – and due to the stackable nature of shipping containers the garden is fully scalable to meet added demand. Urban gardens can potentially pop up anywhere, on top of buildings, an empty parking lot, spare room in a warehouse – locations are only limited to your imagination.
Check out a few innovative, environmentally friendly and sustainable companies that are doing just this overseas:
Freight Farms have a focus on sustainability, reduction of carbon footprints and locally sourced produce. They do this by utilising hydroponic and LED technology to grow produce inside of second hand shipping containers known as ‘The Leafy Green Machine’.
By using these modified containers they are able to ensure that commercial scale agriculture is available to local markets, virtually anywhere in the world. For the geeks out there, things start to get really cool with each of their containers being fully controllable from the cloud, with video access and settings to control the growing environment. You can even get notified on your phone when anything changes inside of the container, or simply watch your plants growing as you are taking the bus to work. Their business model even provides all the supplies including fertilizer, seeds and nutrients making the Leafy Green Machines a real turnkey growing operation.
Their customers include everyone from small community growers that are producing vegetables for personal use, all the way up to large commercial operations growing for their local fresh food markets.
Growtainers claim to be the “portable farm of the future” and are a product that has resulted from collaboration between Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Greentech Agro LLC, Clinton Global Initiative and Phillips.
Growtainers are once again built into modified shipping containers and have a range of unique features including their own trademarked Grow Racks that allow for customised crop specific vertical production of produce. These have their very own computerised controller, ozone treated water and CO2 enriched growing rooms so they are ready to grow right out of the box.
Urban Farm Units
Urban Farm Units are slightly different in that they combine a design of a traditional greenhouse and a 20 foot modified open top shipping container. Using aquaponics and micro-methanation technology, the Urban Farm unit containers are something that can be attempted by the do it yourselfer. Take commercially available hydroponic systems, industrial greenhouse parts, an open top container and scaffolding, and you can easily create your own homemade container greenhouse.
The system is designed to be completely self contained, with water being recirculated through the aquaponic system, while fish actually do all the fertilising keeping the system completely organic. The design is open source and available to anyone on the Urban Farm Units website. We’d love to hear peoples experience in building their own in Brisbane.
Want To Grow Produce In Your Own Shipping Container?
Gateway Container Sales & Hire have a wide range of both insulated and standard shipping containers available in a full range of sizes from 10 foot to 40 foot long that are perfect as grow containers for your favourite fruits and vegetables. Need modifications? We do that too, with everything from installing temperature control units, to ventilation and access doors to create the perfect, portable horticultural solution.
Contact our team now to discuss the perfect container for your own DIY growing room or greenhouse.