If you own or operate a restaurant, you should be container farming. More and more consumers want to know where their food comes from, how it was made and who made it. Not only do they want to help support their local farmers, preserve farmlands, and help the environment, but they’re also willing to pay slightly more for fresh, local food. There are several benefits of restaurant container farms. This post highlights four key reasons restaurants should consider container farming and how to get started.
What is Container Farming?
Container farming, also known as vertical farming, uses refurbished ISO refrigerated shipping containers by setting up hydroponic or aeroponic environments to grow leafy greens, microgreens and herbs. Container farming allows produce and crops to grow in a soilless environment, meaning that plants receive nutrients through direct means that don’t involve soil. The crops are then planted on vertical shelves, which allows for increased crop yields and a greater variety of crops.
4 Reasons Why Restaurants Should Consider Container Farming
Now that you know more about container farming, let’s look at some benefits of growing your own leafy greens and vegetables. Here’s how a container farm at your restaurant can improve your business:
1. Restaurant Container Farms Can Plant Year Round
One of the significant benefits of container farming is the ability to plant crops all year round. You can farm vegetables and leafy greens in the off-season and provide fresh crops and produce in areas that might not have access to locally sourced foods.
There’s also the benefit of not worrying about weather conditions. With traditional farming, changes in weather or extreme weather can cause crop damage or even delays. With container farming, the weather is never a worry! Rain, sleet, or snow, your crops will continue to grow within your container farm.
2. Container Farms Don’t Have to Worry About Pests
Container farming is done in a controlled environment, which not only blocks out erratic weather patterns, as we mentioned before, but it also blocks out bugs and insects.
Locusts, for instance, are highly destructive to crops in many parts of the world, especially in Africa. Swarms of these pests can be up to 460 square miles in size and can contain between 40 and 80 million locusts. An individual locust can eat its weight in plants daily so that a large swarm could devour nearly 423 million pounds of plants.
But using a container farm means your restaurant doesn’t need to worry about these types of pests.
3. Restaurant Container Farms Can Harvest Monthly
Restaurant container farms can create monthly, weekly or even daily harvests. Depending on the crop, you could expect between 200-400 pounds of herbs or leafy greens a month!
This means that you will consistently have fresh produce and crops. You get a consistent supply of leafy greens, vegetables, herbs, and microgreens and don’t have to worry about transport delivery. Many restaurants receive their produce from distributors, but sometimes these deliveries can take two hours or longer to be delivered.
Extended travel can affect the freshness or even spoil those vegetables and other leafy greens. According to the Department of Agriculture, there is an estimated 30-40% waste of our food supply in the United States. That’s nearly 133 billion pounds of food and almost $161 billion in cost.
4. Control Your Container Farm From Your Phone
Restaurants are busy places! Patrons and orders are coming and going, and there’s a lot of activity. You might think with so much to do, you won’t have time to go out and check on your crops. Not so! Restaurant container farms have digital systems that can be controlled remotely, usually through a smartphone or computer app. These are great ways of getting notified about everything that’s happening within the container farm, including:
- The temperature of the container.
- pH balance of the crops or produce inside.
- Control the climate, lights, and CO2 levels.
- Get real-time data analytics for yields.
Pure Greens is a leader in manufacturing container farms with the broadest range of interior designs, sizes and customization options. Our in-house container fabrication experts have hundreds of years of experience modifying shipping containers and provide high-quality service to ensure your container farm meets any specification you desire. We offer various layouts and designs for growing leafy greens, herbs, microgreens and more.
What you want to grow will affect what planting system and layout are best for your needs. That’s why knowing which plants to grow is essential before you start. When ready, you can choose your growing system and container farm layout. We have three growing designs and three separate layouts, giving you a total of nine different pre-built container farm options.
Pure Greens also offers unparalleled customization options for your vertical farming system. Our team of engineers, certified welders, electricians, carpenters and painters have the knowledge and experience to make changes from the simplest to the absolute extreme. Our 90,000 sq ft manufacturing facility includes various metalworking and fabrication equipment, allowing us to create intricate custom creations. Not only does this open the world to exceptional, one-of-a-kind components, but it also means we don’t have to outsource work, which can delay production and drive up your costs.
Purchasing a container farm for your restaurant allows you to grow fresh deli herbs, micro greens and leafy greens that you can harvest daily and use in your farm-to-table dishes. Thus, you can improve the quality and taste of your food while expanding the appeal and possibilities of your menu.
We’ve looked at four reasons restaurants should consider container farming, what it is, and how your restaurant can get started. Consumers hope to find, learn, and enjoy their food, and restaurants and eateries can be the perfect place to introduce new ways of receiving and eating fresh food. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about container farming.