The Leafy Green Machine – Sustainable Farming In Space

Food production has an indelible impact on our environment. The way we farm large animals for red meat production is particularly damaging to the environment. What of the crops we grow? Drought and seasonality mean year round production, year in year out is not an option using traditional plant growing methods. But what if we could create a growth friendly environment all year round? Enter The Leafy Green Machine produced by Freight Farms.

the leafy green machine

Freight Farms – The Leafy Green Machine

The Leafy Green Machine uses a hydroponic approach to sustainably growing plant based food. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants are grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution. Alternatively the roots are supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. Hydroponic growing presents new opportunities in food production.

The Leafy Green Machine is a fully assembled, vertical hydroponic farming system housed in a 40-ft. shipping container. The LGM is capable of growing lettuces, herbs, and hearty greens at commercial scale in any climate or location. Container farming enables any individual, community, or organization to grow fresh produce year-round.The product’s versatility is highly impressive. I think it will provide a life changing food source for parts of the developing world.

Benefits of The Leafy Green Machine

The LGM is an out of the box growing solution. It arrives fully equipped with all components needed for immediate production. This removes the burden of complex mechanical set up from the end user. Allowing them to get growing (and eating), quickly! The machine itself uses a number of smart controls to create a perfect growing environment is achievable year-round, regardless of geographic location.

This is particularly relevant for use in the developing world where long term storage and preservation of farmed goods is a challenge. Consequently, using The Leafy Green Machine farmers would remove this burden of storage and harvest regularly instead.

The farmhand platform tracks real-time data for key growing system variables like CO2, humidity, water, and nutrients. A useful application of this data would be to define and disseminate information on the growth conditions yielding the best harvests.

To infinity and beyond!

NASA is partnering with Freight Farms and Clemson University via grant investment. This purpose of the grant is to explore the suitability of Leafy Green Machines for space travel. Basically, NASA wants to take these freight gardens to the next level and see if they can become entirely independent. If they can run on renewable energy and produce enough food to support humans, they may be ideal for growing in-flight produce.

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