Yes. The Leafy Green Machine grows delicious, chemical free, local lettuces, hearty greens, and herbs year round, even on those arctic below zero Fahrenheit days. In fact, here in Boston, where we average 4 months a year with days below freezing temperature, there are over a dozen freight farms operating year round.
So you may be wondering how exactly the LGM can grow in such frigid temperatures? Look no further! Here are 5 features of the LGM that enable our freight farmers to grow in cold climates:
- Container Insulation - the LGM keeps cozy with its R-16 insulation throughout, providing exceptional thermal insulation for even the coldest of cold days. Fun fact: one of our Minnesota-based freight farmers, Localize, grows premium basil all winter long, despite temperatures dropping below -20F (pictured above).
- Insulated Door - the 2016 LGM comes standard with a walk-in freezer door. This door has two important functions: keeping cold air out and maintaining the ideal temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels inside. It even has a built in heater along the frame to prevent freezing.
- Dehumidifier - the LGM does a great job keeping itself warm, but on those extremely cold days, the combination of cold air outside the container and warm air inside the container creates higher humidity. The dehumidifier system add-on regulates humidity levels by pulling the extra moisture out of the air (due to both temperature differences inside and out, and plant transpiration) and filtering it back into the tanks. So in addition to reducing the humidity inside the farm, it also helps our freight farmers reduce their water usage.
- LED Lights - one of the coolest facts about the LGM is that the LED lights provide enough heat to eliminate the need for a traditional heater, even in extremely cold climates. Not only do the LGM’s vertical, high-efficiency LEDs mimic sunlight and deliver growth-optimized spectrums of red and blue light, they are the key heat source for the farm.
- Environmental Sensors - the LGM has a series of environmental sensors that are constantly measuring climate conditions, temperature, humidity, and CO2, just to name a few. The sensors “talk” to the in-farm controller, which responds by automatically making changes, such as turning on the LEDs to heat things up, or turning on fans and vents to cool things down.