Agtech company announces next generation container farm

Freight Farms, a Boston Massachusetts-based company that manufactures hydroponic vertical farms in shipping containers, today announced the launch of their new farm - the Greenery. The new design is meant as a successor to the company's Leafy Green Machine, which has been delivered to 15 countries and 38 US states. According to Freight Farms, the Greenery contains 70 percent more growing space on the same 320 square foot area. Additionally, the company has created all-new designs for various components rather than building on existing ones.

"After years of data collection and development based on the experience of hundreds of farmers in our global network, Freight Farms has again raised the industry bar with a fundamental container farm redesign," Freight Farms said in a release. "Instead of reorganizing existing technology into a refreshed layout, we saw the potential to blueprint entirely new farm components previously unavailable to the industry. In doing so, Freight Farms keeps the ergonomics of both farmers and plants as the central priority to improve yield, efficiency, and workflow."

Exterior of the Greenery

Focus on efficiency and greater usability
Freight Farms has made technological enhancements for the Greenery with the intent on revolutionizing hydroponic vertical container farming. When you look at the list of improvements, efficiency in both resource use as well as plant growth along with the usability of components has been a significant focus.

In terms of the latter, Freight Farms has installed a mobile rack system which will enable farmers to shift grow rows and LED panels into a custom layout for different crops as well as improving workflow. The interior has been further enhanced to utilize previously unused space which gives the Greenery additional capacity. "Capturing previously unproductive space, a unique five channel plant panel design replaces traditional crop columns to unlock 70 percent more growing space within the same small footprint," the company described. "The Greenery also hosts 30 percent more nursery plant sites."

The use of resources has been further optimized from a better arrangement for the LED lights and climate controls system leading to improvements in water and power consumption. As Freight Farms describes it, "Because the LED arrays are focused directionally, light energy waste is prevented, and despite triple the intensity, there is no 3x corresponding electricity draw. Furthermore, the farm’s powerful new climate control system condenses and recycles ambient moisture so efficiently that in certain humid regions it is capable of capturing upwards of 1.5 gallons of water per hour, rendering some Greenery operations water-positive."

Various rack position available, from the default position (top left), positions suitable for large crops, and also the harvesting position (bottom right).

Smart farm
Technology for remote access and control of climate and automated systems has been incorporated into the Greenery. All data from the farms is relayed to access points such as desktop, smartphone or tablet. Additionally, farmers can input desired environmental conditions based on existing data.

"Each farm component is built from the ground up with farmhand® IoT integration, bringing unparalleled control and transparency to farming," the company shared. "Using IoT-connected sensors, the Greenery continuously relays all climate, component, and camera data directly to farmhand®. With Freight Farms’ catalogue of real-world growing data, farmers can replicate ideal environmental conditions, or 'recipes', for consistent crop quality. They can even make non-native produce varieties available in their local market by creating environments otherwise impossible in their region."

Brad McNamara, Freight Farms Co-Founder and CEO, said that the Greenery's features signal a major shift in containerized agriculture. “The Greenery’s forward leap in data and sensor technology represent a fundamental improvement to farmers’ workflow and production versatility,” he said. “It also allows for total, real-time transparency for consumers. A single romaine head can be traced back through every growing stage back to the seed it came from, even down to the hour. That standard was previously considered impossible, and one we hope the entire industry will now adopt.”

The Greenery’s main growing area features 88 plant panels and 112 LED panels, with a 5:1 red-to-blue light ratio. 

Looking ahead
According to Freight Farms, the Greenery is versatile enough to be used by individual farmers or large regional distributors. It added that because the new design focuses on additional capacity while doing so efficiently, this addresses the issue of labor and the typically higher costs associated with this type of farming. And it's not just in urban areas where Greenery can be used, but also in remote locations as long as the operators have the necessary resources, such as power and a water supply, to run it.

"The Greenery is the most powerful standalone hydroponic farm available, with a fully-connected technology platform you can’t achieve from any combination of products elsewhere in the industry,” added Jon Friedman, Co-Founder and COO of Freight Farms Friedman concluded. “By revolutionizing a farm that can be operated by anyone, in any climate, and can successfully support a diverse range of business goals, our team is helping support a higher standard for society’s food system than previously possible.”

The Greenery is available for pre-sale starting today, retails for $104,000, with general availability this Spring.

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