Photos: Get inside a Leafy Green Machine

These self-contained hydroponic farms can grow produce year-round in any condition using only five gallons of water per day. Because the Leafy Green Machines are made from recycled shipping containers that had been used specifically for food, they are fully insulated. The farmer manages the climate and the nutrients and water for the plants via an app, so the farm can continually be monitored. Hydroponic farming eliminates the use of any pesticides or herbicides, uses less water than traditional farming methods and allows a large volume of food to be grown locally in dense urban areas as well as areas with environmental challenges.

The team at Freight Farms outfits each Leafy Green Machine with the farm kit, essentially, and they are shipped, ready to go, to farmers across the world. Non-profits, schools, restaurants and enterprising farmers use these farms to grow everything from edible flowers to lettuce. Just about anything can grow in this hydroponic environment, but the farms are best suited to leafy greens. And because they can produce year-round, when winter comes, fresh produce can be readily available, rather than being shipped in from warmer climates, cutting the carbon footprint and making local products available year round.

Catherine Neville