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Ekō Solutions and Anu partner on container farm project

Ekō Solutions, a subsidiary of Fishers-based Land Betterment Corp. is partnering with Evansville-based agriculture technology startup Anu to build autonomous fresh produce growing systems inside refurbished shipping containers.

The 20-foot containers will feature a modified version of Anu's smart garden appliance that utilizes rotary aeroponics technology. Land Betterment CEO Kirk Taylor said the company had been looking for ways to utilize the containers for controlled-environment agriculture for over two years before learning about Anu's work.

"We're like, 'Well, why should we try to create something that these incredibly smart people have already created?'" Taylor told Inside INdiana Business. "So for the past 12 months, we've been working on R&D in a pilot shipping container to house their technology, and that culminated in a prototype being delivered to their facility about three weeks ago." Anu, created by Purdue University alumni Scott Massey and Ivan Ball, has created a dishwasher-sized appliance that allows users to grow various types of produce using 100% compostable aeroponic seed pods that are similar to coffee pods.

Anu's technology recently took the top prize in the 2024 HungerTech Innovation Challenge from AgriNovus Indiana. The company has also received nearly $2 million in federal and state grants to further development. The two companies have developed what's being called Pure Produce Container Farms. The up-cycled shipping containers contain the same types of pod towers used in Anu's home appliances, but scaled up to about seven feet tall, which Taylor said increases the efficiency of the device exponentially.


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