When I first saw Ben Greene's innovative sustainable agriculture project, called The Farmery, which involves growing and selling food in the same location using greenhouse components and shipping containers, I wrote that it was "a radical vision of what farms and grocery stores can be."
Now Greene informs us that he's opened a second "mini-Farmery" at the Burt's Bees headquarters in Downtown Durham, North Carolina.
In an email to TreeHugger, Greene described how he scaled-down the size, while still producing a lot of food:
"The Mini-Farmery is a 20 foot shipping container converted into a pop-up shop and farm whose purpose is to prototype the experience of purchasing and grow food in the same space in order to demonstrate the full-scale Farmery's retail concept.
The Mini-Farmery is covered in living walls except for the windows and doors. A green roof on top of the Mini-Farmery is planted with tomatoes, flowers and sweet potatoes. Inside the container there are panels planted on one side with crops and the other side has shelving to sell produce grown by us and our friends. When the panels are finished growing, they are flipped around so that customers may harvest the crops.
Once the crops are harvested, the panels are flipped back around and produce is continued to be sold on the opposite side. There are reservoirs at the base of these panels to water the panels with and watercress is grown in these reservoirs so that customers can harvest watercress as its grown. We also grow mushrooms in a converted shower so that customers can pick their mushrooms as they grow.
When I first saw The Farmery, I wrote that I hoped more locations would pop-up to test this model out in the real world. It's great to see that Ben is expanding his project. Hopefully there will be a mini- or full-size Farmery coming to a city near you soon!
To learn more, visit The Farmery website.