Brandi DeCarli and Scott Thompson have developed a way to fit an entire two-acre farm capable of feeding 150 people into a shipping container.
Partnered with irrigation and solar companies, Farm From a Box is helping people in undeveloped areas find food security.
With the lack of infrastructure to support local production in most areas, Farm From a Box is trying to make distribution a little more even by localizing food production. Localizing food production can empower people within communities to grow and sustain their own crop, having a better understanding of not only food production, but also nutritional health in general.
DeCarli also believes that soil is extremely important and our relationship with it is integral to our growth. We must actively work to rebuild soil so that we can turn carbon into a food-producing asset.
Farm From a Box wishes to connect with schools and communities so that healthy food is accessible to everyone. In areas where healthy produce is rare, and school lunches are deplorable, learning to farm and produce healthy food is integral.
DeCarli and Thompson decided that the best ways to tackle these issues head on was to create a deliverable infrastructure that could work internationally, ranging from places in the United States, all the way to places like Ethiopia in Africa.
This system creates a closed-loop, off-grid food production system that is housed within a shipping container.
The design allows each shipping container to have the ability to literally be dropped on a plot of land with everything that a person would need to get themselves started, with the exception of seeds. It can even be narrowed down to an odd grid power system, a complete water system with a solar powered pump and drip irrigation system, and connectivity.
Drip irrigation can save so much water. It also makes sure that the water that is being used is targeted directly to the roots of the plants. This can extend the growing season in a lot of different areas. This, in turn, can open up new possibilities for different types of crops to be grown.
Every box comes with its own renewable energy system. Three kilowatts of solar energy are pre-installed on the kit. This power access can power the pump and things inside the box. It powers WiFi connectivity, so that there is access to information as well. This allows farmers to have monitor the farm remotely and get information on market prices and training systems.
There is also a three-part training program that comes with the box. The first part covers sustainable farming, making sure farmers understand crop rotation, composting, and intercropping. The second part covers technology use and maintenance, making sure farmers know how to maintain and troubleshoot all the components of the farm. The third part covers farming as an enterprise, making sure there is a market-based approach to farming.
Agriculture has a lot of variables, which means there will never be a one-size-fits-all sort of solution. So the creators designed the box to act as a template so that they could plug in various components to fit local climates, the users, and their needs.
Water purification systems can be plugged in if the user needs it, and it is applicable to the area. They are also creating an internal cold storage system so that farmers can keep crops fresh for longer.
Farm in a Box looks forward to deploying boxes across the world and helping communities find sustainable food security.