Whether it be hot or cold, pouring rain or dumping snow, crops at Cedar Valley High School continue to grow year-round without soil or sun. Cedar Valley High School is the first school in Utah to receive a grow container — an innovative new way to vertically farm up to 3 acres' worth of produce indoors, using no soil or pesticides and only 5 gallons of water a day. The school held a grand opening for the farm in August.
The grow container, made by Freight Farms, was purchased by the school through a generous donation from Meta Platforms Inc. — the parent company of Facebook — which has a data center in Eagle Mountain. Freight Farms containers can be owned by anyone wanting to use one.
The grow container looks like a storage container on the outside and something futuristic on the inside. The plants — in Cedar Valley's case, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, oregano, and red vein sorrel — grow on a vertical sheet where the nutrient-infused water can trickle down from the top. The unit can be controlled through an app on a laptop or phone to change temperature and lighting.
"We're hoping some real magic happens here. We hope to see many more of these Freight Farm units in Eagle Mountain," Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland said. As opposed to a greenhouse, the grow container offers a different kind of learning for students, said the high school's assistant administrator, Kenyon Christen. Not only does it include students taking agriculture classes, but marketing classes as well.
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