Community is at the heart of urban farming efforts, and container farms are no different.
Container farms are hydroponic farms inside of repurposed shipping containers.
These sustainable, indoor micro-farms are often part of the urban farming conversation, especially as they gain popularity.
Many farms are run by one person and their family for profit.
But that doesn’t have to be the case for container farms.
Businesses, schools, charities and more can reap the rewards of container farming as well.
In this article, you’ll learn about community uses for container farms.
1. Equal Opportunity Employment
In 2019, only 19% of people with a disability were employed.
Container farms can help people with disabilities by hiring them to operate the farm.
In fact, a container farm business in Virginia already has success doing this!
Zeponic Farms only hires adults with disorders, like autism and down syndrome, to run its container farms.
Container farms could also provide jobs to other populations who typically have a hard time finding employment, such as veterans or ex-convicts.
This gives these members of the community the opportunity earn money through a meaningful trade.
2. Local Charities
More than 37 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they don’t have easy access to fresh, healthy food.
Container farm owners should consider donating some, or all, of their produce to local charities and food banks.
For example, a credit union in New York grows produce with a container farm in their own parking lot.
They use the produce to feed their employees and donate the rest to various nonprofit organizations.
The program is so successful, they started a second one to feed a local Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Nonprofit organizations could also start their own container farms to supply fresh food for the communities they serve.
3. School Campuses
Did you know 55% of college students think fresh ingredients are the most important factor for on-campus dining?
Having a container farm on campus, is a great way for schools to incorporate fresh ingredients in their campus cuisine.
Plus, it offers opportunities for students in agriculture programs to learn more about sustainable ways to grow food.
Many colleges across the United States already have container farms on campus.
To learn more about how container farms benefit college campuses, read our article about it here!
It’s well documented that growing and being around plants reduces anxiety and depression.
For those who are recovering from an addiction, the stress relief that comes with farming can be a welcome escape.
Rehabilitation centers with a container farm onsite are able to provide their own fresh food.
Plus, it gives their patients fulfilling work and an outlet for stress relief.
It also lets the people in recovery learn a new trade, with skills they can take with them once they’re ready to reenter the workforce.
For-profit container farms may benefit from working with rehabilitation centers as well.
Rally House Farms, a container farm business in Tennessee, has already found success providing temporary employment for people in recovery.
5. Senior Citizens
We’ve already seen a rise of in the combination of senior citizen housing and small farms.
In fact, a real estate development in Silicon Valley that combines urban farming with senior living is already in the works.
But those require building a mixed-use structure from scratch or repurposing old grounds.
Container farms have the benefit of being able to be placed on the lot, of already-existing senior living communities.
Onsite container farms give senior residents a true farm-to-table experience.
Plus, it provides a rewarding activity to occupy their time.
As you can see, there are many ways container farms benefit communities!
You can help your community by starting a container farm too.
Visit our website or call 602-753-3469 to learn more.