You might not think “winery” when you think of container farms, but that could be a mistake. Wineries around the world are adding container farms to their wineries to tap into the amazing power of hydroponic farming. In this short article, we’ll look at what container farms are and 7 surprising benefits of container farming for wineries. Let’s get started.
What is Container Farming?
A container farm is an indoor, micro-farm located inside of a shipping container. They were developed as a sustainable and mobile agricultural practice. A container farm combines three innovative indoor farming techniques to cultivate crops. First, they use hydroponic growing systems instead of traditional farming methods. This means container farms use water to give nutrients to the plants instead of soil. Second, they use vertical farming techniques to maximize yield in such a small space. Vertical farming grows crops in vertically stacked layers, like on towers or shelves. This allows more crops to be grown per square foot than in traditional farming. Finally, container farms use controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology. This tech lets you replicate the ideal climate for your chosen crops by adjusting environmental factors, like humidity and temperature. These three techniques, combined with artificial lighting, are how container farms can yield up to 400 pounds of produce each month in only 320 square feet.
7 Surprising Benefits of Container Farming for Wineries
1. Save Money
When you grow grapes or other produce hydroponically, you’re going to save a lot of money. From transportation to actual growing costs, container farms are one of the most economical ways to grow grapes and other produce. Plus, when you grow your own produce on site, you cut down on transportation costs. Some wineries that have added container farms have seen their costs drop by as much as $100,000 over the first year.
2. Grow Hard-to-Grow Grapes
From Pinot Noir to Ugni Blanc, a container farm from Pure Greens takes soil and the environment out of the equation. This is a real game changer for winemakers! No longer do you have to be limited by the climate or the soil. With a container farm you can now grow Pinot Noir in Alaska if you want to! But it’s not just the location of your winery you no longer have to worry about, you also no longer have to worry about the weather! You’ll never lose a crop to a bad storm or heat wave ever again when you grow your wine grapes in a container farm from Pure Greens.
3. No Pesticides or Herbicides
In addition to not having to worry about the soil or climate anymore, you can say goodbye to nasty bugs, rodents and other pests when you grow your wine grapes in a container farm. Going pesticide and herbicide free is a great advertising point as many consumers are now hyper aware of the chemicals they put in their body.
4. Grow Clean, Tasty Produce
With a container farm you’re not limited to just wine grapes. You can also grow lettuce, micro-greens, tomatoes, berries and over 500 different types of produce. And the best part is it’s all locally grown as well as pesticide and herbicide free. You can add new healthy, locally grown items to your menu, add pop up salad bars or restaurants, and upgrade your overall food quality and safety.
5. Help the Environment
Container farms use 90% less water, 100% less soil, and 100% less pesticides and herbicides. Not to mention that container farming has no effect on the land it’s placed on. Plus, when you grow your produce locally you reduce the food miles and pollution that comes with transporting food. Simply put, using a container farm in your winery is one of the greenest things you can do for the environment.
6. Increase Your Yield
Due to the efficiency of hydroponics you will actually see an INCREASE in your yield when you grow grapes and other types of produce in a container farm. Container farm yields can be up to 50% more than traditional growing methods depending on the produce.
7. Offer Tours or Classes
Did you know that Eco-tourism is a 302 billion dollar industry today and is expected to reach 763 billion by 2026? When you add a winery container farm, you instantly become an eco-tourism destination. You can also add fun and profitable events, like container farm tours or cooking classes with locally grown produce, to your existing offerings.
In this article, we took a look at 7 benefits for wineries from container farming, such as saving money, growing hard to grow grapes and helping the environment. If you want to learn more about how container farming can help your winery, or want to start the process of bringing a Pure Greens container farm to your winery, fill out a quick contact form or give us a call at 602-753-3469. One of our farming experts will get back to you as soon as possible.