Freight Farms

The Lempert Report
August 06, 2015

Check out these innovative entrepreneurs who figured out how to turn shipping containers into the latest in hydroponic farming.

If you've ever wondered what you could do with an old shipping container… here's the answer.. grow produce!  At least that's what two Boston based entrepreneurs decided to do. 

Check out, Freight Farms, an urban farming startup that is hoping to create a more sustainable food system with their flagship product, The Leafy Green Machine (LGM)  a fully functional hydroponic farm, made from retrofitted shipping containers and complete with environmental controls and indoor growing technology:

Brad McNamara, Freight Farms Co-Founder Freight Farms is a farm technology company that allow people to grow fresh, healthy, local, pesticide-free food in any environment anywhere.  With our flag shipped product, the Leafy Green Machine (LGM), that’s powered by digital technology to take the heavy lifting out of commercial hydroponic farming.  The Leafy Green Machine is a 40’ shipping container.  It’s a sealed insulated environment.  We use vertical hydroponics, all LED lighting and a growing system which is all tied back to sensors and monitors back to a digital brain, allowing for all of the systems to be automated and sensed and monitored in real time.  No one has to become  chemist, become an expert, or a plummer to run this system.  The idea being that the LGM only needs electricity and water to get started so that someone who wants to become a commercial food producer can put the farm down, plug it in, add water and can be growing seeds that day.

Jon Friedman, Freight Farms Co-Founder The great thing about the LGM is it’s built from the shipping container that travels all over the world already.  We’ve repurposed it.  The package design of the LGM is the end product.  It gets on a truck very easily, it gets on a boat very easily.  You can find them in the city, out of the city,  really anywhere you need to bring food.  The LGM is accessible for that.  So we’re really looking at a distributed food system that puts the LGM next to the supermarket, right next to the restaurant, next to the product wholesalers campus.  Anywhere that you’re bringing food to the end user, there’s no reason why you can’t farm in that same location.     right in that same location” 

PHIL: And by using their farmhand app it’s also possible to monitor all the environmental components inside the farm directly from a mobile device.

Jon: FarmHand is actually a suite of apps that we have.  One part of that is Farmhand connect and that’s the way you’re going to stay connected with your farm.  Even if you’re out selling produce.  Or you’re working on your business, you still have eyes in the farm and you can look into cameras, air quality, temperature, water quality, see how your nutrients are doing in the farm.  This way is, say you’re in the middle of winter, you don’t have to trudge out just to check if it’s time to transplant, time to harvest, you’re going to know that from the app.  Same thing with your supplies, you know it’s time to get new supplies for inside the farm, that’s where Farmhand Shop is going to come in.  It’s everything you need for the farm.  We curate the farm particularly for our LGM customers, but we also have a wide variety of products for people who aren’t a Freight Farms customer and just looking for an easier way to get their hydroponic supplies. 

Brad: it’s really about quality, flavor and nutrition when it comes to food that’s produced onsite that day.

At Freight Farms we’re focused on the next generation of food supply.  By allowing anyone to grow food anywhere.