When was Freight Farms founded? We were founded in 2010 by co-founders Brad McNamara (CEO) and Jon Friedman (President).
What does your company do? Freight Farms manufactures high-volume crop production units made from up-cycled freight containers. Using advanced growing technology and automation, it’s easy for anyone looking to grow a local food economy to get started – no matter their background or geography.
Where are you located? Our offices are headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
What is a Leafy Green Machine? Also known as the LGM, the Leafy Green Machine is a pre-assembled hydroponic farm inside an up-cycled freight container. It is capable of producing yields at commercial-scale in any climate and any season.
Are you selling internationally? We are currently selling internationally to Europe and Canada. We look forward to bringing the Leafy Green Machine to additional select international markets in the near future! If you’re interested in receiving updates or would like to express interest in having a Freight Farm available in your location, please visit the contact page on our website and fill out the form!
Where can I put a Leafy Green Machine? Anywhere! With methods of soilless agriculture and advanced environmental controls, the system is able to deliver consistent harvest yields regardless of the geographic features.
Can I grow in extreme hot or cold climates? Yes to both. There are LGMs operating in Southern hot climates like Texas, Arizona, and Florida, as well as really cold Northern climates like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and parts of Canada. Read the list of 5 features that enable growing in frigid temperatures here.
How much does a Leafy Green Machine cost? The LGM costs $85,000 (prices vary internationally).
What are the annual operation costs for the Leafy Green Machine? While annual operation costs vary, average costs are approximately $13,000 per year (including electricity, water and growing supplies).
Is financing available? Freight Farms does not offer financing options, but we have a variety of resources and recommendations. Feel free to contact us for more details!
Can someone operate the LGM as a business? Yes! For more information on costs, revenue and pricing click here.
What does the Leafy Green Machine run on? A standard single-phase 120/240 volt 60 amp connection, or three-phase 120/208. As for the water, no hard-plumbing is necessary — just access to potable water (via garden hose, water jugs, etc.) is all you need.
How much energy does the Leafy Green Machine use? The LGM consumes about 100 kWh of energy per day, or around 36,000 kWH annually.
What happens in the event of a power outage? Our units do not come with a backup generator, so for those located in regions that frequently experience power outages we recommend having one for safe measure.
Does the Leafy Green Machine operate using solar power? It's possible, yes! While we do not offer a solar option, some freight farmers are powering their LGM via solar energy.
Do the plants get sunlight? No (well, not in the traditional sense). The LGM provides high-efficiency LED lighting with deep red and blue hues to mimic sunlight. The lights automatically cycle on and off to simulate periods of day and night for the plants. Both the spectrum of light and day/night periods are optimized for healthy and vigorous plant growth.
Plant Varieties and Yields
What can I grow in the Leafy Green Machine? And where do I get all the supplies? You can grow a variety of leafy greens inside the LGM unit: Herbs (mint, basil, oregano); Lettuces (bibb, romaine, arugula); Brassica (cabbage, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale). And more! On a weekly basis you can expect to harvest over 500 full size heads of lettuce, or over 1,000 baby heads of lettuce. Contact us for other crop yields.
How do I get get my supplies? With the farmhand SHOP app, you can purchase all of your growing essentials — fertilizer, nutrients, seeds — and have them delivered directly to your door.
How much can the LGM produce and how does it compare to traditional farming? Growing hydroponically and vertically inside a shipping container maximizes space for growing and also allows for year round production. For a full infographic on how it compares, click here.
What about hops for beer? Or grapes for wine? Or marijuana? Today, no. The Leafy Green Machine is designed for the optimal growth of lettuces, herbs, brassica, and micro-greens.
Can Leafy Green Machine produce be certified organic? It is absolutely possible for our growers to pursue organic certification, but be sure to check with your state’s organic certifier to see if you would qualify. Without organic certification, our crops are herbicide and pesticide free, and are not harmful to soil structures since we’re a hydroponic closed environment system!
What type of training is involved? To ensure the success of each of our farmers, we offer an intensive two day training at our Headquarters in Boston, MA. This involves both in-farm lessons and classroom sessions which cover all operations of the farm.
How much labor is required to operate a Freight Farm? Can I run it by myself or do I need to hire a team? Once you get up and running, we approximate that it takes about 15-20 hours per week to operate (but that varies depending on seed sites, transplanting and harvesting). While the LGM can be managed by one person, it’s just a little easier with more hands to help.
As a Business Platform
What is the ROI in ownership? While we wish there was a magic formula for this, honestly there are too many variables that prevent us from making a blanket statement on this. Our sales team will work with you on an individual basis to determine your unique opportunity.
Where do I sell the produce grown in my Freight Farm? You can work with local food distributors, wholesalers, restaurants, food co-ops or markets- it’s entirely up to you.