Kilnwick Percy firm’s fresh produce from container base sows seeds of micro greens success

Ben Conway had wanted to be a farmer when he was younger, having spent holidays with his uncles and aunts in County Mayo. Ben said his fledgling micro greens enterprise called Short Stack utilizing a decommissioned refrigerated shipping container on a neighbor’s farm may not be traditional in the sense of farming dairy, sheep, arable, or pigs, but it is a new emerging form of farming. “I was searching for something ethical and sustainable and microgreens fit that ethos.

“I started out with an initial proof of concept by growing from a breeze block outbuilding in our garden, which I insulated and began growing in trays vertically, three to four decks high. It proved successful and that’s when I invested in the container to take it to the next level.”

Ben’s studies at Salford and Leeds had been in technology and his career has included technology sales, but in music and communication rather than growing food. Ben said that technology in all areas has been a major part of his life. “I’ve always had an interest in the technology behind hydroponics and what I now see as digital farming or digital horticulture. It is a way in which quality fresh food can be grown more quickly all year round and provide the healthy food that people are switching on to in restaurants and at home."

"I’m currently running at just over half capacity, but that is likely to be full capacity pretty soon as everyone is on the lookout for fresh microgreens.” 

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