At first glance, this Baltimore area family farm appears similar to its neighbors. However, tucked away neatly between a barn and a rickety wooden fence is a shipping container outfitted with the latest hydroponic growing technology. This 40-foot container is, in fact, a farm. The Shaws added the Leafy Green Machine™ to their farm in early 2017 to combine their existing traditional farm with a full-time hydroponic operation.
While Andrew Abendshein has always been interested in health and sustainability, he never imagined himself becoming an urban farmer. However, Andrew saw his opportunity to bring fresh and local food production to his hometown of Houston, Texas when he discovered Freight Farms in December 2015. By early 2016, Acre in a Box was born.
Incorporating a Leafy Green Machine into dining services is a fantastic way to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, as well as engage with students around food and promote nutrition and wellness.
In January 2016, Clark University and Sodexo brought the LGM to campus to provide students the freshest greens possible. Since then, their student operator has successfully been growing hyper-local produce just feet from where it's served in Clark's dining hall.
With the end of Square Roots' first year in sight, we spoke with Resident Entrepreneur Nabeela Lakhani about her experience growing in an LGM, her plans for the future, as well as her thoughts on the food system.
Sarah and Chris Ward got their start in urban farming in 2016 when they purchased an LGM. Although neither Sarah nor her husband Chris had experience in commercial farming, they decided to leverage their professional abilities and mutual love for local food by launching Oasis Spring Farm.
Zach Bain of Lowell Lettuce launched his urban farm in the summer of 2016 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and is growing mini-head lettuce, kale, wasabi arugula, and salad mix year-round. Zach is an urban farmer, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant all rolled into one. We recently spoke with him about his experience as a freight farmer, his thoughts on the food system, and his advice to people thinking about becoming freight farmers.
Last week we held a webinar with two freight farmers so they could share their journey to launching a small business with the LGM. We covered everything from market research and financing to what crops to grow and how to reach new customers. Here's a recap!
Kimbal Musk just recently announced that he will be launching a new business in the fall — Square Roots. An urban farming accelerator program focused on training young entrepreneurs to grow non-GMO, fresh, tasty, food year-round, Square Roots will be leveraging the Freight Farms technology to create campuses of climate-controlled, indoor, vertical farms.
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.