There has been an ongoing trend in agriculture over the last 50 years that has moved farms further and further away from the communities they provide produce for. Farms struggle to compete with large industrial operations, and the stability of farmers becomes shakier by the year.
In this environment, container farms enable farmers to have stable growth, regardless of outdoor conditions. They keep out pests and other outdoor conditions that may compromise plant development.
These modern marvels bring agriculture into the 21st century, offering sustainable and space-efficient solutions to feed our ever-growing population.
In this blog, we’ll embark on a journey into the world of custom container farms, where innovation and agriculture converge to provide tailored solutions for a wide range of industries.
What Is a Container Farm?
A container farm, at its core, is a self-contained agricultural system built within a shipping container. These farms utilize hydroponic systems, which means they grow plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water solutions.
By controlling the environment, light, temperature and nutrient delivery, these farms provide an optimal growing environment for crops year-round, regardless of external conditions.
The Benefits of Container Farms
Container farms offer a plethora of benefits that contribute to their rising popularity. First and foremost, they enable year-round cultivation, overcoming the limitations of traditional farming that heavily rely on weather patterns.
Additionally, container farms significantly reduce the need for arable land and water resources, making them a sustainable solution for urban areas and regions facing water scarcity. These farms also utilize vertical space efficiently, making them suitable for small spaces.
Container Farms vs. Traditional Farms
Container farms differ from traditional farms in several ways. They require minimal land area, making them feasible even in densely populated urban areas. They are not limited by soil quality or availability. This is because hydroponic systems provide plants with all the necessary nutrients directly through nutrient solution.
Traditional agriculture uses commercial farming techniques to grow crops at a large scale. Because of this, traditional agriculture can lead to increased usage of herbicide and pesticide. This can have unforeseen consequences for local ecosystems and neighboring farms, leading to shrinking animal habitats and diminishing growth rates.
Hydroponic Systems Offered by Pure Greens
Pure Greens, a pioneering name in the realm of container farms, offers various hydroponic systems tailored to specific crop requirements. These include Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and Deep Flow Technique (DFT).
Each system optimizes water and nutrient delivery, ensuring plants receive exactly what they need for robust growth.
Nutrient Film Technique
The Nutrient Film Technique is a hydroponic system intended to reduce water usage. It works by circulating a thin film of nutrient solution through shallow channels. Plants rest inside these channels, and their roots dip into the hydroponic solution to ensure that they receive necessary nutrients.
The channels are flat and tilted so that nutrient solution can flow evenly under the plants before being recirculated back into the reservoir, where it will then be pumped back into the channels. Nutrient solution is always recirculated, unlike other systems that have a timed release.
Deep Flow Technique
The Deep Flow Technique is the second type of system that we offer, and it offers versatility when growing a variety of crops. Instead of constant circulation, like in NFT systems, DFT systems submerge plant roots in aerated nutrient solution. Instead of grow media, plants develop inside net pots that rest inside rafts that rest on top of the nutrient solution.
These systems typically have lower average yields than NFT systems, but they keep temperatures more stable. Because the plant roots are completely submerged, air stones that aerate the solution are necessary to keep plants from drowning or developing damaging root rot.
Unveiling the Custom-Built Container Farm
A custom-built container farm from Pure Greens is a marvel of engineering and horticulture. Imagine a 20ft or 40ft shipping container transformed into a lush oasis of greenery.
Our custom design option lets you decide what type of system you want to implement: NFT, DFT, or something else. These are best suited for growers that are experienced with hydroponics and want to test out new growing systems or grow specialty crops that might not work in either NFT or DFT systems.
For instance, we’ve received interest from arborists that are curious about using custom-built container farms for developing saplings before they’re transferred to soil when mature.
Custom container farms provide you with a secure and temperature-controlled space, and give you the freedom to develop your container, your way.
Custom Container Farms Across Industries
Container farms’ adaptability makes them suitable for a variety of industries. Here are some of the industries that are utilizing custom container farms today to make their operations more efficient:
Custom Container Farms for Restaurants
Restaurants can now cultivate their own fresh ingredients, from herbs to leafy greens, enhancing their farm-to-table offerings. Container farms provide a visible commitment to quality and sustainability, setting establishments apart from the competition.
Custom container farms embody the ethos of “farm to table” perfectly, allowing restaurants to bring the farm close to their dining spaces. The result is a seamless connection between the culinary artistry of the chefs and the origins of the ingredients, creating a genuine and transparent dining experience.
In addition to culinary benefits, produce that is grown, harvested, cleaned and prepared in one location is easier to quality control than produce bought from third parties, which has been handled by multiple parties before it’s ready to sell.
Custom Container Farms for Grocery Stores
Imagine grocery stores displaying vibrant, locally grown produce within their premises. Container farms allow grocery stores to offer ultra-fresh produce, reduce transportation costs, and support local agriculture.
This would reduce the waste inherent to the modern grocery supply chain. Produce must ship internationally, diminishing nutrient quality and increasing the amount of produce that gets tossed before making it to store shelves.
In a custom container, supermarkets have the flexibility to allocate dedicated areas for packaging, streamlining the production process and ensuring that fresh produce reaches consumers at its optimal freshness.
Custom Container Farms for Research Labs
Research laboratories across various fields are discovering the potential of custom container farms to advance their scientific endeavors. These controlled environments provide a unique platform for conducting experiments and studies related to plant growth, environmental conditions and agricultural development.
In a custom container, you can customize the space to ensure that your testing equipment and experimental setups are perfectly accommodated, making your research more replicable.
Precise regulation of temperature, humidity, light intensity and nutrient delivery is critical in hydroponics research. With a custom container, researchers can integrate advanced climate control systems, LED lighting arrays, and automated nutrient delivery systems, ensuring that experimental conditions remain consistent and stable throughout the duration of the study.
Custom Container Farms for Senior Living Communities
Container farms introduce a therapeutic and educational element to senior living communities. Beyond being just a source of fresh produce, these farms serve as vehicles for fostering therapeutic experiences, creating educational opportunities, and nurturing a sense of purpose among seniors.
Container farms become hubs for social interaction within senior living communities. Residents come together to participate in gardening activities, exchange new ideas and knowledge, and share memories. This communal aspect fosters a sense of belonging, strengthens social bonds and creates a nurturing environment where seniors can make friends while doing a productive and enriching activity.
You can customize a container to allow wheelchair or walker access. This allows limited mobility users access inside.
How to Connect with Pure Greens
Ready to embrace the future of farming with your very own custom container farm? Contact Pure Greens today to discuss your needs and explore customization options. If you can dream it, we can make it.
In addition to custom container farms, we also offer pre-designed container farms and large enterprise systems. Regardless of the size or scale of your hydroponic operation, we can help you achieve your growing goals.
Undoubtedly, in a world striving for both sustainability and efficiency, custom-built hydroponic container farms stand as a beacon of hope for the agricultural sector. These modern marvels transcend the limitations of traditional farming, offering year-round cultivation, water efficiency and versatile applications in various industries.
With Pure Greens’ advanced hydroponic systems and customization options, the future of farming is now. Embrace the green revolution and help redefine the way we grow and consume our food. Contact us, and learn more about how a custom container farm can help you grow crops efficiently in a system that works exactly how you need it to.