What You Need to Know
As our network of Freight Farmers continues to expand globally, the range of locations where farmers are placing their Leafy Green Machines is growing just as quickly. We’re seeing it all: paved parking lots, the foot of the West Elk Mountains, vast grassy fields, warehouses, an old taxi depot, or even your backyard (as long as it’s appropriately zoned). We encourage farmers to think outside the box and activate underutilized spaces. If you’re unsure how to choose the perfect site for your farm, here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
An area of land that’s at least 50 x 10 feet: The dimensions of the farm itself are 40’ x 8’ x 9’6,” so in order to ensure easy movement in and out of your container, we recommending leaving a little extra room.
Level ground, with no more than a 3% grade: Namely, your site should have no more than a three-foot rise or drop per 100 feet.
An electrical source: Connection to an energy supply is vital to maintaining the farm’s systems. A generator is also highly recommended as a backup electrical source.
Access to water: This should come as no surprise, but water is vital to any farm! We recommend placing yours within 50 feet of a water source. Be sure to send a sample of the water that you will be using in your Freight Farm to a lab for testing to ensure your water is free of bacteria, pathogens, or any other harmful elements.
Further Space Specifications
Beyond the basic criteria, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind when choosing a spot:
If the ground on your location site is unpaved and you live in a climate that experiences below freezing temperatures, you will need to lay trap rock, gravel, or concrete. You can also build a two inch slope right into the concrete to eliminate leveling of the farm once it arrives. The water line can be either hard or soft plumbed – most farmers choose soft plumb and use a garden hose when necessary. If you live in a climate with temperatures below freezing and choose to hard plumb, you will need to insulate the water line.
You will need to visit your local lumberyard or hardware box store to pick up pressure treated wood or hardwood (poplar) to level you farm.
You will need to enlist the help of an electrician and a plumber to launch the farm, so start doing some research locally.
It is important to learn about your local zoning regulations by speaking to a government official in your area. If you have more questions on this topic, check out our blog post all about zoning here.
Good to Grow
The great thing about container farming is its versatility to grow food in spaces where you normally couldn’t, so get creative and have fun with process. If you are unsure about the feasibility of your site, take some photos and reach out to us! (Google Earth is a great tool and can provide snapshots from all angles). And make sure to check out our checklist for further site requirement information and guidelines.