Farm from a Box is an award-winning social enterprise and benefit corporation based in San Francisco, California providing an innovative system that comes equipped with all of the core components needed for an off-grid, community-based farm.
Farm from a Box is a dynamic system with interchangeable components allowing users to tailor a unit to meet the needs of different climates, users, water access points, and crop plans. The system is pre-installed with technology that makes each unit easy to deploy, operate, and maintain. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Off-Grid Zero-Emission kW-MW 2020-2040.
Small-scale, rural farmers are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and drought. Many rural areas struggle with limited access to infrastructure or necessary farming technology that could strengthen and stabilize their local food production. Farm from a Box is adaptable to a wide range of uses, whether used to connect schools with healthy food and an edible education, to modernize farming operations with improved technology for more profitability or to jumpstart food production after a disaster.
Each Farm from a Box houses:
- Water-Efficient Drip Irrigation: Easy to install water delivery system stabilizes crop production in drought conditions and extends the growing season.
- 3kW Solar Power: Each unit is powered by renewable energy and acts independent of grid access.
- Solar Powered Pump & Filtration: A high performance, maintenance-free solar pump is adaptable to different water access points—from municipal line or ground well to river or lake.
- Renewable Energy Storage: Ther fully integrated, robust energy management system delivers reliable, maintenance-free energy.
- Internal Cold Storage: The walk-in cold storage unit keeps crops fresh while reducing post-harvest loss by as much as 80%.
- Wifi Connectivity: the WiFi-enabled system turns a farm into a hotspot providing web access and connectivity.
- Cloud-Based Data Control: Track and monitor the productivity of the system remotely via a virtual dashboard.
- IOT Sensor Suite: Integrated sensors provide real-time data on the entire system, from the field to the technology.
Farm from a Box provides technology, vocational training and entrepreneurship opportunities to people who have been displaced by conflict, political instability, and climate change. With their new skills and access to low-cost technology, displaced people and refugees are able to contribute to local food systems. This reduces dependency on traditional food assistance while also decreasing the costs of food distribution through the production of healthy, nutrient-rich food that contributes to local economic growth.
Economic empowerment can also provide a way to accelerate healing and rebuild a sense of dignity and purpose whilst farming sustainably and using renewable energy.
Source and top image: Farm from a Box