Modular farms are a cutting-edge solution to many of the negatives associated with traditional agriculture.
In this article, you’ll learn about modular farms and some of their benefits.
Using shipping containers to grow food in, comes with a bunch of benefits.
For one, they don’t require soil, so they can be located virtually anywhere.
This makes it a lot easier to grow food close to highly populated urban areas and remote areas with little farmland.
As a result, modular farmers work with the community to lower food insecurity and fill holes in food deserts by making fresh produce accessible.
Plus, they’re stackable.
So, if you don’t have much horizontal land, you can place a modular farm on top of another!
This also makes it easy to add more farms if you need to, since you won’t necessarily have to buy more land to expand on.
It may be hard to believe that a shipping container will sustain plant life.
But with the help of indoor farming technology, like grow lights, modular farms grow many different types of plants.
This includes leafy vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruiting plants and houseplants.
To do this, modular farms use soil-less methods of farming, like hydroponics.
In this method, plants get their nutrients from water instead of soil.
The farmer adds fertilizer to the water, making a nutrient solution.
The nutrient solution contains everything the plants need to grow!
Hydroponically grown plants grow faster and stronger than when grown in soil.
This is because the farmer is able to mix the nutrient solution to match the exact needs of the plant.
Typically, field farms need a lot of space in order to grow enough to sell.
But hydroponics combined with vertical farming,
allows modular farms grow a commercial amount of food in only 320 square feet.
Vertical farming is when plants are grown in stacked layers, rather than one layer across the ground.
This is done with shelves, towers and other vertical structures.
As a result, more food per square foot can be grown in modular farms than on field farms!
Since modular farms grow in a contained space, they have a lot more control over the growing environment too.
The best ones even use advanced controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology.
CEA gives the farmer control over all aspects of the growing environment
For example, air and water temperatures, humidity and carbon dioxide levels are all controllable with CEA.
This helps the farm minimize losses from unpredictable factors, like weather or pests, which outdoor farms often struggle with.
Pests alone have the potential to cause field farms to lose 50% to 80% of yields.
Hydroponics and CEA make modular farms a sustainable way to grow food.
For example, hydroponic farms use only 1/10th of the amount of water that field farms use.
That’s because hydroponic systems catch and reuse water.
Meanwhile, water evaporates and rolls away on field farms.
Plus, modular farms don’t use soil, so they don’t contribute to soil erosion.
Soil erosion is a big problem. We’ve already lost half of our soil worldwide in the last 150 years alone!
Plus, since CEA limits pest invasions, modular farmers grow crops completely organic, without any chemical pesticides.
You can learn more about the dangers of pesticides by reading our “Ultimate Guide to Pesticides.”
As you can see, modular farms are a great alternative to outdoor farming.
If you’re interested in starting your own sustainable, compact and versatile farm, check out our website or call 602-753-3469 for more information.