Stackable hydroponic shipping containers offer many benefits for urban farmers that other solutions don’t. You might already know some of those benefits if you’re a frequent reader of our blog.
However, we focus a lot of our content around urban farms and smaller grow operations. But there’s a large portion of the agriculture industry that grows at scale. Can hydroponics be used commercially in urban areas, or is it just useful for smaller farms?
In this article, we’ll examine how stackable container farms can provide space-efficient commercial-level hydroponic production anywhere with a stable power and water hookup.
Challenges for Urban Farmers
There are a few roadblocks standing in the way of urban farmers who want to grow crops to serve their local market. They need to confront the following problems, and container farms can help beat them.
The first thing that urban farmers need to consider is that urban spaces can sometimes be difficult to get permits for. Strict zoning laws can shrink the area that farmers are allowed to use. In the concrete jungle, every square foot is precious real estate, and converting it into a productive garden can be a bureaucratic challenge.
However, container farms provide a solution to this dilemma. These self-contained, vertical systems are highly space-efficient, making it possible to grow a substantial amount of produce in a compact footprint. By going vertical, urban gardeners can maximize their growing potential even within the confines of limited space.
Water, the lifeblood of any garden, poses a unique challenge in urban environments. With water resources often stretched thin, urban farmers must be mindful of their water usage. Traditional soil-based gardens can be thirsty endeavors, but container farms offer an advantage here as well.
These systems are designed to be highly efficient when it comes to water use. In fact, they use up to 90% less water than traditional growing methods! Through advanced hydroponic or aeroponic systems, they deliver the exact amount of water needed directly to the plants’ roots, minimizing waste.
Additionally, by capturing and recycling water, stackable hydroponic containers can significantly reduce their environmental footprint and alleviate the strain on local water supplies. This can be especially useful when trying to get permits for urban farm zoning, as it gives you a compelling case when compared against farms that may require more water to operate.
Providing Enough Supply to Meet Local Needs
One of the primary goals of urban gardening is to provide fresh, locally grown produce to the community. However, ensuring a consistent supply to meet local needs can be tricky. Urban farmers often face challenges related to seasonality and unpredictable weather conditions. Container farms, with their controlled environments, mitigate these issues by enabling year-round crop cultivation.
This means that urban farmers can reliably provide their community with a steady supply of fresh produce, reducing the reliance on long-distance food transportation and contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system.
In the face of these urban farming challenges, container farms are a versatile and efficient solution, helping urban farmers overcome the hurdles of limited space, water scarcity and supply consistency.
How Can You Use Stackable Container Farms for Urban Growing?
The current food supply chain in the United States relies on importing food over long distances before it even arrives on someone’s plate.
As a result, the supply chain is vulnerable to disruptions and our food loses nutritional value and freshness during its long journey. If farms were located closer to the places where produce is consumed, then our urban food supply will be more stable, and more resilient in the face of supply chain disruptions.
But this can be difficult for farmers looking to bring their operations to large urban areas, since there isn’t much (if any) farmable land available.
Stackable hydroponic shipping containers, however, set up easily in compact urban spaces. They can fit inside small lots or unused pieces of land that can be put to more productive use with a container farm.
On top of this, container farms are turnkey, and don’t require the same extensive setup that other farming methods require.
This enables them to quickly become efficient food-factories, supplying local markets with fresh, nutritious, and vibrantly colored produce that urban consumers desire.
What’s the size of a Stackable Container Farm?
A container farm is 40’ x 8’ x 8’6”, with an interior floorspace of 300 sq. feet. You can stack a second container farm on top, enabling you to grow more crops in a more compact space. We add stairs and railings to the outside of the farm to make it easier and safer for growers to navigate.
The ability to easily increase your operation size is a great advantage of stackable hydroponic containers. If you have the land, then you can add more containers as your farming operation grows and expands. Even if you have a limited space, think vertically, and make full use of your property by growing your operation upwards.
In other words, you can start small and build up your container farms as needed, instead of starting big to begin with, as is the case with hydroponic greenhouses or other permanent structures!
Urban gardening holds immense potential for transforming how we source and enjoy fresh produce in our bustling cities. However, navigating the urban landscape comes with its fair share of challenges. From zoning restrictions that limit space to the crucial issue of water conservation and the need for consistent supply to meet local demands, the path to a thriving urban farm is not without its obstacles.
Nevertheless, stackable hydroponic containers offer innovative solutions to these urban farming challenges. These self-contained systems allow us to make the most of limited space, efficiently manage water resources and ensure a year-round supply of locally grown produce.
With container farms leading the way, urban farms are well-equipped to overcome these hurdles. They can cultivate a sustainable, fresh and vibrant future for urban agriculture. In our communities, in our neighborhoods, and right in our own backyards.
Let us help you as you start your hydroponic journey. Interested in starting your own container farm? Visit our website or call for more information.