Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Solar Powered 'Farm from a Box': Everything You Need to Run an Off-Grid Farm

Food
Solar Powered 'Farm from a Box': Everything You Need to Run an Off-Grid Farm

Shipping containers already make great micro-homes, but one California-based company is using shipping containers to create micro-farms. Farm from a Box is a complete, small-scale farming toolkit that includes everything you might need to produce your own food.

Each box comes in 10-, 20- and 40-foot units and is pre-installed with a photovoltaic system comprising of 10 high-efficiency solar modules, off-grid inverters, a transformer and distribution box and deep-cycle batteries for energy storage. The array is backed up by a 3,000-watt generator.

Farm from a Box is a modified shipping container with a built-in WiFi, irrigation system, solar panels, weather tracking devices, batteries and more. It also contains seedlings, farming equipment and a training program to provide communities with the tools the need to feed themselves. Photo credit: Farm from a Box

It's also equipped with high-efficiency LED lighting, secured storage, a mobile charging area, Wi-Fi and a remote monitoring solution. Oh, and seeds and farming tools of course.

Each unit is capable of producing crops for one hectare of land (2.47 acres), the company says.

“Farm from a Box is the ‘Swiss-Army knife’ of sustainable farming,” Brandi DeCarli, Farm from a Box co-founder, said in September.

While Farm from a Box seems ideal for many communities worldwide, it could be a food security solution for areas without reliable access to electricity or water.

“Based on extensive field research, we found that rural communities often lack the resources and infrastructure needed to access nutritious food," DeCarli said. "We developed a toolkit that contains all of the core components needed to grow your own food, on a two acre plot of land, without the need for an existing grid. Imagine the good it can do by growing local, organic food for a school, or helping jumpstart food production after a disaster. ‘Farm from a Box’ enables and empowers communities to provide for themselves.”

Thinking outside the "box," the farm also comes with a training program that covers ecological farming practices, technology use, maintenance and basic business and entrepreneurship. A fully operational pilot project is planned for deployment at a local women’s cooperative in the Rift Valley in Ethiopia later this year to help shape and refine the training and implementation program.

A prototype installation called the "Adam" has been running at Santa Rosa Junior College in Sonoma, California since September.

Launching of the Sonoma unit at Santa Rosa Junior College's Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Photo credit: Farm from a Box

The boxes are fully customizable and Fast Company reports that each unit costs between $25,000-$45,000, depending on its technology specs.

Last month, Farm from a Box announced a partnership with SMA America, a noted solar product manufacturer.

“SMA is proud to partner with a company whose goal is to bring independence to communities around the globe by providing the tools they need to sustain themselves, both nutritionally and financially,” said Marko Wittich, SMA executive vice president of sales for the Americas region. “Farm from a Box isn’t charity; it empowers and strengthens communities with sustainable solutions, powered by renewable energy.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

25 American Companies Go Big With Solar

Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home to Grow Food and Keep Warm

Brad Pitt’s Nonprofit Delivers LEED Platinum Homes to Fort Peck Reservation

Turn Your Organic Waste Into Energy for Your Home

Pexels

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less
The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

Read More Show Less
A helicopter drops water on burning vegetation as the Bond Fire burns in Silverado, California on Dec. 3, 2020. Mark Rightmire / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images

2020 was the largest wildfire season in California's modern history, according to state agency Cal Fire. And, as the climate crisis continues to increase fire risk, there are concerns that 2021 could be just as devastating.

Read More Show Less