Droughts and changing weather patterns threaten our food security, but one possible solution can be found inside an old shipping container.

Straight: “When you’re growing outside, you’re at the mercy of nature, and as we’ve all seen right now, nature’s changing.”

That’s entrepreneur Mike Straight. He’s turning shipping containers into indoor aquaponic gardens that can operate off the grid and produce more than 100 pounds of food weekly.

Called FarmPod, the system is essentially a greenhouse on top of a large fish tank. The fish waste nourishes the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.

The technique is very efficient, but Straight says few people know how to build or manage their own systems.

Mike Straight

Straight: “I realized I needed to make something that would be automated and take a very little amount of time and a very small amount of resources to run.”

So the pods have built-in rain capture devices as well as solar panels for power. And the entire system is shipped in the container to the customer.

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Because of the cost and amount of food they produce, the pods will likely be used by restaurants and community groups. Straight also hopes schools will use them to provide healthy meals and teach students how to grow food as the climate changes.

Reporting credit: Justin Bull/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Farmpod photo: Courtesy of Mike Straight.

More Resources
Farmpod website

Erika Street Hopman

Erika Street Hopman is co-founder of ChavoBart Digital Media (CBDM), an audio and video production firm with a focus on scientific and environmental media. CBDM contributes original reporting, audio production,...