All-encompassing farming kit can provide communities with a sustainable food supply

Several manufacturers partnered with the group Farm from a Box to develop an off-the-grid farming solution for communities, all without the need for outside help.

January 06, 2016 |
All-encompassing farming kit can provide communities with a sustainable food supply

Photo: Farm from a Box.

It’s not like the Farm from a Box only comes with a few packets of seeds. Nope, the kit comes with items that cover water purification, irrigation, and solar power. But yes, there are seeds in there, too.

Solar technology provider SMA is one of several manufacturers to partner with the founders of the nonprofit group Farm from a Box Inc. to develop an off-the-grid farming solution for communities in remote and rural locations, or areas trying to rebound after a disaster—all without the need for outside help.

Using the kit, communities can grow grains, fruits, and vegetables, and serve 150 people over 2.5 acres of land. They are built from modified shipping containers and are available in 10-, 20-, and 40-foot units.

Each Farm from a Box contains a drip irrigation kit, seedling house, water pump and filtration system, soil amendments, and farming tools. It also has more sophisticated, high-tech tools like solar modules, off-grid inverters, power supplies, remote monitoring solutions, deep-cycle batteries, LED lighting, Wi-Fi, mapping platforms, and a 3,000-watt generator.

Because that’s a lot of equipment and expertise to master, a full training program is included. It covers the best ecological farming practices, how to use and maintain the technology, and basic business and entrepreneurship strategies.

A test unit is being run in Sonoma, Calif. Another set will be used in Rift Valley, Ethiopia, this year, which will measure and collect data points for a local women’s cooperative.

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