PantherDining is proud to introduce the ultimate farm-to-table experience…
Freight Farm’s Leafy Green Machine!
Located just yards behind Piedmont North, the Leafy Green Machine is a fully functional hydroponic farm built inside an upcycled shipping container. Configured for the immediate growth of a variety of crops like lettuce, kale, spinach and other herbs, its innovative climate technology and growing equipment allow for the perfect environment 365 days a year.
Ready, set, grow!! In early July 2016 we laid the groundwork for our first seedling tray of Red Butterhead lettuce and harvested it at the beginning of September. Moving forward, we’ll begin adding Buttercrunch, Sparx and a gourmet lettuce mix to our farm! Want to try our freshly-grown produce? Stop by Miss Demeanor’s or Centennial Café to try some on your salad or sandwich!
Here’s a brief rundown on what you can expect from our Leafy Green Machine:
- Seeds begin in the nursery area, where they germinate and grow into little seedlings.
- In this area, plants grow in a shallow trough that periodically floods and drains with the nutrient rich water solution.
- This area holds up to 3,600 plants at one time.
- After three weeks in the seedling station, the sprouts will grow into a sturdier leafy green. The plants are transplanted into vertical growing towers that hang from the ceiling.
- This method creates a high-density growing environment and maximizes the cubic footage in the container.
- Emitters drip nutrient rich water down the vertical grow tower using only ten gallons of water daily to grow over 4,500 plants.
- The water that isn’t consumed by the plant flows out the bottom of the tower and is then recirculated right back to the water tank.
- As sunlight is important during photosynthesis, the windowless farm is equipped with LED lighting that mimics the sun’s natural light via growth-optimized blue and red hues.
- There are 128 lighting strips running approximately 18 hours per day to maximize the growth cycle, with the lights turned off only to give plants time to rest and during peak hours.