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Is Shipping Container Farming for You?

Touch the Soil News #711 (photo courtesy of Alescalife)

Chinese startup Alescalife is promoting shipping container farming. Their business model is to create and sell what they call the EDN (Every Day Nutrition). They refer to the EDN as the all-in-one solution optimized for growers of every size. Alescalife boasts that its shipping container farms can be operated by one person working about 2 hours a day. The farm comes with a one-year guarantee. The company does not publish a price.

Alescalife recently came into the news because of the enormous agricultural problems China has. Estimates are that one fifth of farmland in China is compromised by chemicals and toxins. The nation is also tarnished with stories of unsanitary conditions as relates to food production, processing and packaging. It is estimated that in five (5) years China will have over 200 cities with populations of over 1 million.

Shipping container farming is not new, as there are a number of manufacturers out there. A standard shipping container is 40 feet long and averages 320 square feet. The largest and most successful shipping container farm manufacturer is Freight Farms in the U.S. While the idea and technology is innovative, there is a price tag. Freight Farms estimates the cost of a ready to farm shipping container at around $85,000 and annual operating costs of around $13,000. Their Website is quite helpful for anyone interested in getting into shipper-container farming:

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