LA-based company Local Roots is turning shipping containers into indoor farms that can turn any produce into local produce, anywhere.
Local Roots grow fruits and vegetables in shipping containers that are stacked in old warehouses or parking lots, which can either be connected to the grid or powered by solar energy.
Local Roots’s indoor farms are known as TerraFarms. Each TerraFarm is a controlled environment featuring LED lighting, computer-controlled sensors and cameras that monitor plant health, and shelves of hydroponically grown plants. A 40-foot container can yield 4,000 heads of lettuce every ten days, according to Local Roots.
Produce grown outdoors can be vulnerable to weather patterns and climate change. But with a TerraFarm no farmland or soil is needed. The shipping containers can be placed in urban spaces including parking lot or the corner of a warehouse.
A TerraFarm can be up and running within 5-7 days of set up anywhere in the world, and the idea is to be able to produce local, farm-fresh produce throughout the year anywhere in the world.
Local Roots has designed the custom growing technology and hardware, and it owns and operates the farms, selling its produce to restaurants and food distributors under its own brand.
Local Roots farms have been set up to grow herbs and leaves including kale, Italian basil, rocket, romaine lettuce and tatsoi among others. It’s currently trialing crops including mint, rosemary and thyme, and is aiming peppers, strawberries, wasabi and cucumber in the future.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea