What is a Modular Farm?
Modular farms are flexible and self-contained systems that allow you to grow herbs and vegetables without the need for soil or sunlight. Modular farming is becoming more than just a sustainability goal for social impact organizations. It is also becoming a big business.
Greenhouses were the first part of the movement to provide year-round produce, but their flaw is that they require sun, which means they have to be laid out horizontally, taking up huge amounts of space. Though North America has no shortage of land, feeding ever-expanding urban populations economically requires farms to be located closer to cities — where land is prohibitively expensive. This could be were modular container farms come in.
Why use a these kinds of farms?
Modular farms enable the production of safe, fresh, food safety certified crops anywhere, anytime, from outdoor spaces to indoor warehouses and anywhere in between. The fully integrated, and often sustainable hydroponic system reduces waste, uses significantly less water, eliminates harmful pesticides, and enables growers to be connected to farm conditions at all times.
The farms are typically made out of used shipping containers, which can be stacked and arranged to grow from a shipping container garden to a whole network of shipping container farms The system can also scale without redundancy by utilizing a variety of different modules. The modularity allows farmers to easily adapt to their market and expand their growing capacity without sacrificing extra costs.
You don’t need to trade off growing one crop against another- you can add a new shipping container farming module as your ramp up, or remove it if you slow down.
Being based on the same unit, each module could even be stacked, creating towers of farms on tiny horizontal spaces.
How does this fit with vertical farming?
The Modular Farm idea concentrates on farmer ROI and plant health. This system is the perfect pairing of container farms, and the tried & tested technology of vertical farming. This balance between the two promotes an endless growth of fresh and locally produced plants. A highlight of this vertical farming innovation is that you can customize your system and extend its functionality according to your agriculture needs to accommodate any sized operation. Moreover because each module is sealed, you can run multiple environments at the same time, with each one offering differing humidity and temperature controls.
What are the farming benefits?
Many have wondered for years if vertical farming is really the answer to the shortage of food in the world. However strange the concept of vertical farming might seem it is an ingenious method to produce food in environments where arable land is unavailable or rare at the most.
This method is especially handy for challenging environments such as deserts, mountainside towns, and cities where many diverse types of vegetables and fruits are grown using precision agriculture methods and skyscraper-like designs.
As with vertical farming, the time from seedling to crop is accelerated allowing very high yields. Similarly, harvest time itself can also be extended with a crop like kale providing the same yield after a year as it did after a few months.
What can be grown in a modular farm?
A modular farm is almost literally a farm in a box. Technically you can grow almost anything in the towers within the shipping container units. Everything from corn to peppers and quinoa, mini pumpkins and cucumbers—it all depends on what you’re using the container farm for, and what your business expectations are. Kale and herbs and lettuce are typical high return low-labor crops for modular farms. Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and cherry tomatoes can also work, but require slightly more labor. The same tradeoffs apply to other crops: hops, wasabi, and peas and even medicinal cannabis.
What are the food benefits?
Within each module, light water and atmosphere are tightly controlled. The module is hermetically sealed to protect against the outside so there is no need for pesticide , insecticide or herbicide. More than organic, this is close to surgically clean food. Often, there may not even be a need for soil as its also a hydroponic farm. The produce is fully traceable and trackable after harvest, keeping it clean from pathogens such as E. Coli and listeria.
Start Growing Your Own Produce. Anywhere.
GrowPod is a modular, stackable and mobile vertical growing environment. Specifically engineered to maximize yield and automation. Offering fully insulated, food-grade shipping container that has been specifically modified to provide the optimum controlled environment for growing a wide range of horticultural and agricultural products in all environments and climates. With our combination of hydroponic and certified organic soil systems, you produce a significantly higher yield that grows faster, healthier and more consistent.