Growing your own organic food in the city could be just like assembling a Poäng chair or Billy bookcase from Ikea.
That's the idea behind a new design for flat-packed pop-up farms from an entrepreneurial team based in Copenhagen.
The design, called the Impact Farm, turns shipping containers into a kit containing construction tools and pre-made pieces for assembling a two-story hydroponic farm. Assembling a farm takes 10 days, Mikkel Kjær and Ronnie Markussen from the firm Human Habitat explain in their online description.
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After everything is unpacked and installed you've got a 538-square-foot production area that can even be taken apart and rebuilt at another spot.
One of these farms could produce three tons of produce annually, the duo told Collectively.org. Larger ones could grow double that. The team spent time learning about existing urban farms in the United States and the United Kingdom before creating theirs.
"We wanted to reconnect people to food by giving them a green space that brings nature back into our cities," Kjaer explained.
This fall, construction began on the first hydroponic Impact Farm in a residential area of Copenhagen. "The unit is self-sufficient in clean energy by harvesting the sun and the wind, and water by collecting rainwater," the team says on their project page.
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Repurposing shipping containers for urban farming is nothing new, but the Human Habitat team's flat-pack kit approach feels innovative. Schools, small businesses, and organizations in food deserts could grow produce more easily with these kits.
Kjaer and Markussen also told Collectively they want to create a version that could be assembled to help during humanitarian crises.
There's something comforting to me about a kit. All the parts and instructions are together in one place. Build it and the micro-greens will come.