Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Vertical Gardening In Used Shipping Containers


Vegetable and Specialty Crop News published recently an article by Clint Thompson, Vertical Farming: Auburn Using Shipping Containers to Provide Produce. 

"The Auburn University College of Agriculture is using vertical farming to provide certain produce for its students year-round. Auburn students are helping to grow food for Auburn students.

"This unique way of farming doesn’t involve a field or a greenhouse but a shipping container. The same container used on tractor-trailer trucks uses LED lights to provide the necessary light energy for the crops to grow. There are no windows. Scientists also control the water and nutrient supply, so the plants receive just enough but not too much.

"The result is a quicker and more sustainable way to grow produce." Read more here.

It makes sense. The shipping container allows gardeners/farmers/scientists to create a controlled growing  environment. The vagaries of weather are avoided. It's not unlike growing in a greenhouse, but without sunlight. 

It got me started thinking about how some home gardeners could start such a project of their own. The one at Auburn University is relatively well-funded, so an imaginative home gardener would have to adapt the "vertical farm" to their own situation and budget. For example, used shipping containers are readily available online. Basic, well-used containers in 20' and 40' lengths cost about the same. The vertical structures inside could be made of shipping pallets suspended with chains, lined with plastic sheeting and filled with soil. Water could be supplied with drip irrigation, and recycled through catch basins beneath.

It's an idea that an enterprising gardener might want to pursue.

Return to GoGardenNow.com.

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