Innovation: How to grow fresh produce on a ship, and lots of it


Ships are not really known as places to grow food on; rather, they’re adding to the food miles that your typical lettuce or tomato spends from where it grows to your table.

Blueseed/Freightfarms, a startup that makes it possible to grow plants 130 times more efficiently than on land, in terms of space, using only 10% of the conventional amount of water, and without pesticides or herbicides. This is done with soil-less vertical hydroponics in a repurposed shipping container with low energy needs using remote monitoring and control via a cloud-based mobile app.

The 1,000 entrepreneurs on Blueseed will be able to consume entirely local-grown lettuce, supplied by one Freight Farm unit, which requires only about one hour of human operator time per week. Units are self-contained and Freight Farm will be working with Blueseed to adapt them for maritime use.

Lettuce is just the beginning. Blueseed intends to use two Freight Farm units, the second one for vine plants (currently in development). The partnership with Freight Farms is an excellent showcase of local food growing, and is an important step in furthering the environmental sustainability of the Blueseed community.

More details about the Freight Farms in the infographic and video below, published in Inc. Magazine.Freight-Farms-container-in-Inc.-Magazine

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  1. What's new? Capt Cook did it and so do many native coasters (though not too many these days).
    Modern day ships would be too easy? But no who will be free to do it as we all crumble under the pressure of short manning and paper work? And now farming? Ha Ha., NOT!

  2. Back in the 1975 when trading from the US gulf to the Persian Gulf at slow speed on a VLCC I built a green house on the aft end of the bridge. I built a metal and wooden frame and covered it with heavy plastic. I got grow bags, seeds and plants from the shore, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, courgette and radishes etc.
    It was successful especially passing through the tropics and we had some fresh vegetables all the way.
    I don't know what happened after I left the ship.