Biosphere 2 will be using Freight Farms’ Greenery to further their research on the role of vertical farming in the circular economy of food production.
Freight Farms announced a partnership with The University of Arizona’s Biosphere2 to explore new ways of growing food in the face of environmental challenges threatening the global food system. This embed in the research center’s larger initiative to advance the understanding of natural and human-made ecosystems through integrated research to increase the resilience and sustainability of Earth Systems and quality of life.
In their press release, Freight Farms states “Freight Farms and Biosphere 2 feel a collective responsibility to explore new ways of growing food for the future in the face of these challenges”
Commenting on the partnership, Rick Vanzura, CEO of Freight Farms states “At Freight Farms, we believe that a decentralized system of food production is essential to improving the resilience and security of food access globally. Growing hyper-local food year-round, by the community, for the community, is an important part of our collective future, This is why we make modular vertical farms that are shipped and installed globally, bringing the farm and the power of self-growing to communities of all kinds.”
The Greenery S used in this project has yielded lettuce delivered to the University of Arizona Campus Pantry and the Impact of Southern Arizona community food bank. The crop included about 800 heads of red and green butter lettuce.
“We are excited to share our first crop to come out of the Freight Farms and Biosphere 2 collaboration,” said John Adams, deputy director of Biosphere 2. “The Greenery S is the latest generation modular container farm that brings agriculture to a new dimension by growing and harvesting produce that is herbicide- and pesticide-free. This technology makes it possible to bring fresh food to an area where it might otherwise be impossible to grow and help to develop food systems for the future.”
Vertical farming’s ability to control environmental factors makes it critical for the future of food development. These older, time-tested systems of growing, like hydroponics, are being re-imagined as new technologies – precision-controlled growing environments – allowing for year-round food production in hot deserts and frozen tundra alike. These systems can be powered by clean energy and need only a few gallons of water daily, making them well-suited to withstand our rapidly changing world.
Freight Farms has brought precision growing into the future with Farmhand®, its IoT farm automation software. The only software of its kind, Farmhand allows indoor farm operators to control temperature, lighting, and other environmental variables in their farms by connecting to in-farm sensors. Farmhand allows for both monitoring and controlling different indoor farming systems, so that data and insights from the crop planning and planting process can be used to enable production of higher quality, more flavorful and more nutritious produce.
The company also banked a USD 12 million credit facility a couple of weeks ago from Cambridge Trust.