Shawn and Connie Cooney started careers as farmers in 2013 because they wanted to do something different. After purchasing four Leafy Green Machines, the husband and wife duo launched their new business, Corner Stalk Farm, and became the largest commercial urban farm in the city of Boston.
Mitch Hagney is helping propel the local food movement in San Antonio, Texas by cultivating food right in the heart of the city. His farming business, Local Sprout, supplies residents and restaurants with a variety of sustainably grown produce year-round.
Farming can be a labor intensive endeavor, requiring many hours of man power and hard work, but what was once considered a staple to successful farming is now being seen as a time suck. The weeding, pest control, soil preparation, and the distribution of nutrients has either disappeared entirely from the LGM or has become fully automated. By stripping-away the nuances of traditional farming, we’ve created a system that requires only the core essentials: seeding, transplanting and harvesting. What some might consider a part-time job, 20-25 labor hours a week, is now the amount of time it takes to run a revenue generating farm.
There is no denying that food is a hot topic. Everyone is talking about food, from hip urbanites taking pictures of strange, delicious restaurant offerings to public health officials advocating for more fruits and vegetables in our diets. Ongoing changes to our world such as increasingly extreme weather and population growth have led many people, particularly in urban communities, to take a long, hard look at food production and distribution.
Meet the pioneers changing the way we think about our food. They are reshaping the landscape in their local communities, and advocating for positive change in our food system by choosing to grow.
Let’s start with the basics: Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Instead, a nutrient rich water solution is used to feed the plants, and there are many ways that this nutrient solution can be supplied to the plant roots. Here’s the breakdown of the most common hydroponic systems, and a look into some of the techniques used at Freight Farms.
One of our newest farmers is no stranger to farming and the importance of locally grown food. For Kim Curren, owner of Shaggy Bear Farm in Bozeman, Montana, becoming a freight farmer seemed like a natural next step for her, and her farming venture is a culmination of everything she’s done.
As the community of freight farmers expands across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean, the diversity in each of their business models also grows. In last week’s blog post we gave some pointers on how to get started and identified three potential businesses to sell to, and as promised, here are four more!
Thinking about launching a Freight Farms project in your city, town, or community? Here are a few pointers for getting started, and 3 potential markets to sell into.
Since it's such a hot topic, we feel the need to share this fun fact: Kale grown in the LGM by our freight farmers is actually very different than the kale on the shelves today at your local grocery store or farmers market.
What do you picture when you hear the word “farm"? We bet you’re imagining a pastoral scene of rolling hills, maybe some grazing cows and a big red barn, right? Typically that isn’t the case for our freight farmers…until now
Here at Freight Farms we’re huge supporters of organic produce, and we’re also huge supporters of local produce. But we’re even bigger supporters and advocates of “hyper-local” produce. There are many different understandings (and even misunderstandings) of all three labels, which is why we feel it’s really important to share what we’ve learned about all three and what they mean. Our goal is to establish a common interpretation of all three terms in the realm of farming produce.
You may be wondering how exactly the LGM can grow in such frigid temperatures. Here are 5 features of LGM that enable our freight farmers to grow in cold climates:
On January 15, 2016, Freight Farms delivered a brand new Leafy Green Machine to Clark University Campus in Worcester, MA. This university deployment was so unique because it holds historical significance for both Freight Farms and its co-founder, Brad McNamara.
We’ve all been there - stuck in a gastronomic rut of some sort. Maybe you joined a CSA and have what seems like an unreasonable amount of cabbage and beets in your share...for the third week in a row. Or maybe you’ve just surfaced from the depths of culinary habit to realize you’ve only been eating three dinners on rotation for the past month. When I find myself in a creativity hole of any kind, I like to back up to basic methods of cooking.
We shared data on how the LGM compares to traditional farming practices, and now we are sharing the data we’ve been able to collect on crop yields, business and operating expenses, as well as revenue and pricing.
With this large network of farmers growing in the LGM we’ve been able to collect a lot of data. Everything from grow times and crop yields to business expenses and produce pricing. With that, we’re now able to move away from projections and provide real-life examples of what the farm can do.