Whether it’s to help solve food insecurity or conserve water, boxcar farms emerge as a cutting-edge solution to many of the negatives associated with traditional agriculture.
In this article, you’ll learn all about boxcar farms.
Boxcars are a type of shipping container designed for transportation via railroad.
Boxcar farms have repurposed these metal containers for use in commercial farming, providing a sustainable agricultural practice.
These farms typically use a soil-less system of growing like hydroponics or aeroponics, which allows the farmer to grow large volumes of crops in a small space.
Hydroponics uses a growing medium for root and stem support as well as a watered nutrient solution instead of soil for crop cultivation.
Aeroponics uses the same materials but mists plant roots rather than watering them.
Because boxcar farms are a relatively small indoor space, they’re prime candidates for controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology.
CEA is a technologically advanced method of hydroponic agriculture. It uses technology to control various factors of the growing environment, such as temperature and humidity, to create perfect conditions for crops to grow in.
CEA allows farmers to grow crops year-round with no concern for weather, climate, or season. As a result, farmers can fill unmet market demand and harvest more from one plant.
Boxcar farms can also be easily established in urban areas, leading to closer proximity to consumers, increased accessibility for food insecure households, and stronger communities.
Boxcar farms also typically use vertical farming techniques in order to maximize yields.
Vertical farms grow up, rather than out, so more plants can be grown per square foot than in traditional soil farms.
Growing in windowless containers, sounds like it could pose a challenge. But it’s fairly easy to replace sunlight in indoor farms.
Rather than using the sun for photosynthesis, crops grown in boxcar farms use artificial light from high-powered lamps.
For example, Pure Greens Container Farms, which are crafted from ISO ocean shipping containers, use 5500K White LED bulbs, producing 5100 lumens of full spectrum light.
LEDs use less energy, while providing more light, than fluorescent bulbs. Keeping conservation in mind helps us keep the energy bills down!
Speaking of conservation, boxcar farms save water too!
Hydroponic farms use only 1/10th of the amount of water than field farms use. This is because water in hydroponics systems is not lost to evaporation or run off and can be captured and recirculated through the system.
Some people buy boxcars or other shipping containers for the sole purpose of converting them into farms, while others have them in their possession already.
But you don’t need to be handy to start your own container farm. Others purchase theirs premade from companies like Pure Greens, which come ready for operation.
If you’re interested in starting your own container farm, look no further.
Our Pure Greens Container Farms are equipped with recirculating nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep floating technique (DFT) hydroponic systems, lights, and CEA technology that’s controlled through a smartphone app.
For more information on how to get started, call us at 602-753-3469 or visit our website.