FREIGHT FARMS – AN INTRODUCTION
Freight Farms, http://www.freightfarms.com/ headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was founded in 2010 by co-founders Brad McNamara and Jon Friedman. The company manufactures high-volume crop production units made from upcycled freight containers.
Below: Jon Friedman, Brad McNamara
Leafy Green Machine (LGM)
An article by Alice Sweitzer headed, Freight Farms builds farms in shipping containers, and NASA wants to launch them to space, appeared on 7th July, 2017 in the Boston Globe. The article describes how the company and Clemson University received a grant from NASA to develop “life support for human exploration of deep space.
The next generation of the LGM will be developed as an off-the-grid system incorporating technologies like water capture from the ambient air and automatic compost systems; LGM’s that are entirely autonomous running on 100% renewable energy. The article goes on to say that at the moment Freight Farms customers include Google Clark University, Sodexo and modern farming entrepreneurs including Kimbal Musk a co-founder of Square Roots Grow.
“It’s an honour to be selected by NASA to expand the potential of agricultural technologies and develop new applications for our products. NASA and Clemson are excellent partners to fuel our company mission to grow food anywhere and build the infrastructure for the next generation of farming, no matter what planet that may be on.” — Jon Friedman, Freight Farms co-founder
Financial backing of Freight Farms comes from venture capitalists who have pumped into the company at least US $13million since 2013, the last of which was US $7.3million in April, 2017.
The USA Government through the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, offers loans to growers at very favourable interest rates and longer repayment periods of repayment than bank loans, because the LGMs qualify as new farming equipment.
Recently, Freight Farms partnered with Horticoop, one of the Netherlands’ biggest wholesalers of agricultural supplies and technology, to bring the LGM to Europe. Horticoop has been in business for over 100 years and is dedicated to providing the top horticultural products and services to professional growers. Adding the Leafy Green Machine to their current product line was a natural fit. The first LGM is already in operation in Deventer, Netherlands and is making a tremendous impact on the surrounding community.
And soon the first LGM in Cyprus will be despatched.