Metropolitan Community College prepares for launch of ‘Freight Farm’
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Metropolitan Community College will soon begin offering courses on sustainability using a high-tech, indoor farm.
The Freight Farm is a 320-square-foot shipping container that’s being converted into a vertical climate-controlled farm that will run on solar power and use just five gallons of water a day for 13,000 plants.
“Basically it’s a farm that’s on a computer system now,” says MCC’s Continuing Education Coordinator Justin Caniglia. “We have our dashboard in which we control everything.”
MCC’S Director of Continuing Education Daphne Cook says the Freight Farm is the first of its kind in Omaha to be used as a classroom in a formal education program. It will help launch MCC’s new Certification for Sustainability program, along with programs for people of all ages.
“Most people won’t be able to have a shipping container but what they can do is have access to a shipping container through education, so you can learn the same concepts that are used here and learn how to apply them in your home,” Cook said.
When fully up and running, the Freight Farm will grow more than 500 different crops a year including lettuce, kale, herbs and root vegetables like radishes.
“We can grow two-to-six tons annually and over two acres of food a year.”
Cook says this will help address the need to connect urban and rural communities.
“There is not equal access to food and the pandemic really shed a spotlight on that and having a growing container really levels that playing field because you can grow food anywhere.”
Programming is expected to begin in the spring of 2023.
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