Growing Up: The Benefits of Vertical Farming in a Used Shipping Container
Farmers have always been at the mercy of the weather. The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey is still fresh in the minds of Houston farmers. And you can’t trust flood maps, as almost three-quarters of the homes devastated by Harvey were outside of the 100-year floodplain.
But one Houston farm is still standing after Harvey ravaged most Texas farms.They were still able to supply greens to local restaurants and farmers markets. Acre in a Box is just one of the many farms that grow produce inside re-purposed shipping containers throughout the country.
For urban farming, a used shipping container has several advantages. Here are just some of them.
Unfazed by Mother Nature
The biggest challenges in traditional farming are always the climate and bad weather. A used cargo container offers a closed environment where you can simulate optimal conditions for plant growth. But now, you’re not worried about sudden weather changes, drought, and floods. This also means that you can plant and harvest for 365 days a year. You don’t have to plow the fields in March, sow the seeds in April, and harvest in September. Because your produce is available year-round, you can command premium prices.
No Space Is Wasted
Even highly-efficient outdoor farms will have square footage that is idle. They’re also limited to a 2-D plot of land. Vertical farming, as the name suggests, makes use of the vertical space. Instead of a flat square, you’re gardening in a 3-D rectangular prism. Every inch of the container contributes to your profits.
Low Water Use
Whatever vertical farm system (hydroponics, aeroponics) you’re using, you’ll use less water than conventional farming. You’ll be operating in a closed-loop system, where water is recirculated. Run-off water and water lost by plant transpiration can be recovered and reused.
A Used Shipping Container Is Cheaper Than Buying Land
The average price per acre of land in Texas is $5,647. You’ll need an average of 231 acres to start a small family farm according to the USDA. You can already buy one 40-ft container with the money for one acre of land. Used shipping containers are readily available. They’ve been used by shipping companies for decades which is why they’re a lot cheaper.
You don’t cut trees to make way for your farm. Every land area saved by using this technology can help revert them to their natural state. By having no need for mechanical plows and equipment that burn fossil fuels, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. You can go green and sell greens at the same time.
Set up Shop Anywhere
You can have your farm beside the restaurant or market you’re supplying to. This will drastically cut costs for shipping and transporting your product. While we don’t advise moving your farm, that option is there if you need it. You can just hire a crane crew to plop your farm onto a semi-trailer truck and move to another location.
Start Your Container Farming Business
If you want to set up your own farm inside a used shipping container, we’ve got you covered.
We are the leading providers of both new and old shipping containers in the US. Contact us to get the best quotes!