New England restaurants have access to onsite farm-to-table service
Restaurants in New England can now have their own farms thanks to Freight Farms' on-site vertical farming service — Grown, a news release said.
Freight Farms, the creator of smart hydroponic software and containerized growing environments, will not only install its signature hydroponic farm — the Leafy Green Machine — on site, but staff a designated farmer to operate, monitor and maintain the farm completely, said Brad McNamara, CEO and co-founder of Freight Farms.
"Our mission with Grown is to provide a solution to institutions that see the immense value of local produce, and would rethink their sourcing methods if challenges like personnel and facilities management were reduced," he said in the release.
By eliminating the need to train staff for farming, Grown can immediately integrate with any foodservice operation, employer amenity package, or produce supply chain. Clients choose what to grow and how that produce will be distributed within their organization. Ease of integration makes Grown ideal for corporations, universities, residential communities, hospitals and other clients committed to food transparency and wellness, McNamara said.
The Grown program is already supplying B.Good, a Boston-based farm-to-table restaurant chain, with lettuce for its Cousin Oliver Burger, and a 3D design software company, Dassault Systèmes, has a thriving CSA program for employees at its Waltham, Massachusetts, campus.
"Since Google installed their Leafy Green Machine in 2014, institutions all over the world have used them to promote involvement and education around nutrition, sustainability, and technology," said Jon Friedman, Freight Farms COO and co-founder. "Now, by removing the burden of managing those farms internally, we hope to reach more people than ever."
Farming in a controlled environment means clients can depend on consistent costs and quality year-round, regardless of season. Leafy Green Machines can be installed mere steps from the plate, drastically reducing food-miles. They consume just five gallons of water per day or less and require no major construction to deploy, according to the release.
Average Grown packages start at $5,000 per month, which includes custom crop scheduling, maintenance, supply replenishment, 24/7 farm monitoring and all farming operations, such as seeding, transplanting and harvesting. Add-ons range from marketing and branding services to in-farm educational events and on-campus CSA programs, according to the release.
Freight Farms is accepting new Grown clients in New England, with plans to roll out nationwide in 2019.