Make Container Farming Your New Year's Resolution!
An actionable resolution.
Did you know that, although 40% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution, only 9% of them will self-report accomplishing their resolution, and 37% drop off within the first week?!
The greatest determining factor in succeeding or failing in your New Year’s resolution is being explicit with your goals. Focusing on a tangible goal is 10 times more effective than vague promises (for example, “I will cook twice a week” is 10x better than “I want to cook more”).
So instead of pledging to “improve my work-life balance”, “give back to my community”, or “find time for myself”, we have a more explicit, concrete, and actionable idea for you: This year, make your New Year's resolution: "I will become a container farmer in 2019".
Becoming a container farmer requires a pretty significant lifestyle change, and if that’s not for you, then we completely understand. But, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, this could be an exciting new direction to explore!
Here are just 15 great personal, philanthropic, and practical reasons to start container farming this year:
Start container farming for yourself.
1) Be your own boss
Being your own boss is a liberating experience that allows you to pursue your career on your own terms. Take matters into your own hands to achieve the goals that matter to you and create your hydroponic business to mirror your interests and passions. Along the way, gain valuable information about everything from time- management skills to optimizing your kale yields. Get inspiration from our current small business farmers who became their own bosses.
2) Create your ideal work-life balance
If you’ve ever worked for someone else, you know that there is always some form of compromise: you have to skip a birthday for an important business trip, or miss out on valuable family time due to a constant stream of emails. Over time, conflicting priorities can create stress, leading to fatigue, poor health, and damaged relationships with loved ones. Operating the Leafy Green Machine (our container farm) requires only 15-20 hours a week. From there, the amount of time you spend marketing and selling your produce is entirely up to you! The Leafy Green Machine allows you to break free from the 9-5 and choose how you spend your time.
3) Leave your desk behind
The results are in: sitting all day is bad for you. The American Heart Association, has linked diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer to prolonged sitting! Not good at all. Our farmers are luckier than most, since they spend at least 15 hours a week on their feet while doing light active work in the farm. That’s not including other time spent loading and unloading deliveries or selling at a farm stand.
4) Accomplish something every day
Successes, no matter how small, trigger the release of dopamine in your brain, leading to feelings of pleasure and motivation. Farming in the Leafy Green Machine involves a multitude of small, tangible accomplishments everyday –seeding, transplanting, harvesting, cleaning – making you excited to come back and do more.
5) Work with your hands
Working with your hands can do wonders for your emotional health. Using your hands can increase happiness by promoting feelings of vitality and effectiveness. This in turn can reduce stress and depression, and relieve anxiety. Farming with the Leafy Green Machine involves hours of calm and methodical work, providing you with these benefits every day.
"As soon as someone tastes our greens, it is instant enthusiasm and some recognition that we are farming, albeit modernly. The neighborly ol’ timers have taken tours and been amazed to see all that’s growing inside.”
Brittany Moreland, Elevated Harvest
6) Engage and change your community
There’s something about fresh and local food that brings people together! The Leafy Green Machine is a new and exciting technology that will peak people’s interest and encourage them to learn more about you and your business. Engage your friends and neighbors with a delicious alternative to unappetizing factory-farmed greens from the grocery store.
Start container farming for others.
7) Create A Therapeutic Environment
While horticultural therapy has been practiced since the Ancient Greeks, it was revived in the 19th century and is currently used today as a therapeutic method for helping at-risk and mentally ill adults. Today, we have farmers working to help veterans with PTSD, adults with autism, and people with histories of substance abuse. These communities can benefit from the many physical and emotional benefits of farming mentioned above, such as working with your hands, accomplishing tasks, and generally participating in a meaningful goal. Read more about the benefits of integrating plants into everyday life.
8) Bring an Oasis to a Food Desert
A food desert is defined as an area where residents are unable to access fresh fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods. Food deserts are commonly found in impoverished areas of the country due to the lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, or healthy food providers in the area. A Leafy Green Machine is an excellent way to provide nutritious options to underserved urban or rural areas year-round. A great example is Urbal Pastoral in Baltimore, MD.
9) Save Water
Traditional farming requires an incredibly large amount of water: 80% of the U.S’s water consumption goes towards agriculture, and just one head of traditionally grown lettuce requires 3.5 gallons of water. By comparison, a full head of lettuce grown hydroponically in our container farm uses only 0.1 gallons of water. The Leafy Green Machine also creates no run-off. This protects the surrounding landscape and water sources from being contaminated, which is a common problem with traditional farming methods.
10) Bolster a Local Economy
Many our our farmers choose to stay hyperlocal, selling only to wholesalers, restaurants, or customers in the immediately surrounding area. Selling into this local economy creates a positive feedback loop: On average, 46% of money spent at local businesses is recirculated back into the local community. Other benefits include greater community identity and involvement, job creation, innovation, and diversification.
"We must start with the younger generation, and they do show an interest. When I am working in the farm, students stop by all the time and ask how things are growing."
Kevin Gibbons, Chef at UMASS Dartmouth
11) Empower Future Leaders
What Karma Farm, Square Roots, schools like Clark University, and homeless youth shelters have in common is that all have farms managed by young and passionate individuals. With the Leafy Green Machine, these farmers are changing their communities and the food landscape. Regardless of your project, you can always inspire those around you to become leaders in agriculture and sustainability.
12) Create a safe source of greens
In 2018 alone, we had three major E. coli outbreaks with romaine alone! This leaves people sick and scared to shop at their stores for fear of feeding themselves and their families contaminated greens. Container farming creates greater traceability, making it easy for people to know where the greens came from and if they’re safe to eat.
Some practical reasons to start container farming
13) Make money
While we’ve talked about several valuable reasons to start container farming in 2019, we have to discuss your money-making opportunities. The Leafy Green Machine is optimized to grow lettuces, leafy greens, and herbs (view the whole list here). While all greens can be profitable, those grown inside our farms are clean, pesticide-free, and available year-round in any climate. These factors help many of our farmers command premium prices, especially in direct-to-consumer sales channels like farmers’ markets or CSAs. Check out our income projections to see how much money you can make!
14) Corner a winter market
Aside from growing high-value plants, the Leafy Green Machine gives your venture an added advantage of being season-agnostic. Grow warm weather plants year-round in all climate conditions thanks to the insulated container and the controlled-environment technology built into the farm. By having a consistent yearly supply, you can negotiate higher prices when selling out of season.
15) Pay less in taxes
Like other farming equipment, the Leafy Green Machine qualifies as a “single-purpose horticultural structure” under Section 179 of the IRS tax code. This means you can deduct the full cost of the container farm from your annual taxable income, saving $8.5-$30k (depending on your income tax bracket).
One final thing: not only do you have the best technology available to you, you have the support of our whole team here at Freight Farms. We can help you find a farm site, develop a marketing plan, and troubleshoot any problems that arise. We founded Freight Farms with the belief that, with the right tools, anyone can become a farmer, you included!
Happy 2019 - may all your resolutions come true!
Ready to get started?