Produce can now be grown hydroponically with LEDs in completely self-contained Freight Farms or Cropbox shipping container farms, controllable from by smart phone. Crops include lettuce, kale, chard, arugula, herbs, and other small vegetables. Cropbox can also be used for microgreens and feed for horses, with a strawberry version coming soon. Both use dramatically less water than conventional growing, can be put anywhere including big cities , and are stackable. Also, LEDs produce practically no heat, greatly reducing cooling expenses, as compared to halogen.
Thus, a restaurant could grow produce in their parking lot and bring it directly to the tables, the ultimate in locally grown food. Or containers could be stacked several high in urban warehouses and supply many restaurants and farmer’s markets.
Cropbox claims that their systems also use up to 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods. For lighting they used LED lights, which keep the energy expenditure to a minimum. There is space to grow 3,000 plants in one of their containers.
The Freight Farms shipping container farm features separate spaces for different stages of plant growth, such as seedling and germination area, which is large enough to support 2,500 plants. They also have 256 vertical towers which offer enough space for more than 4,500 mature plants.