There’s a new trend in the fight against climate change: farming inside shipping containers. A Denver restaurant takes that trend to a whole new level.

DENVER — Amidst the quaint shops and trendy restaurants along Tennyson Street in north Denver, you’ll find Vital Root. It’s a 100% employee-owned restaurant that offers a vegetable based menu, and many of those veggies are grown on-site inside a metal shipping container in the restaurant‘s back parking area.

“So, we have a hydroponic grow facility,” said Corigon Hunt, cultivator and agriculturalist for the Edible Beats Group. “It feels like it’s a mixture of science fiction and fantasy in here.”

It’s basically a farm inside a big metal box.

“Primarily, we’re growing lettuces, herbs … we could do tomatoes, peppers … we have arugula,” Hunt said. “This is the equivalent of 2.5 acres of farmland.”

All the vegetable are grown on shelves.

“We use vertical hydroponics, meaning that we grow on the vertical plane rather than growing on shelves of ebb and flow,” Hunt said. “The square footage that we occupy, we can grow 96% more food than a farm of this equivalent size.”

It’s done without all the dirt and a tiny fraction of the water. That’s because all the water that’s used gets filtered and recirculated. So while a traditional farm can use thousands of gallons of water a day, hydroponic farming uses very little.

“We only utilize three gallons of water a day,” Hunt said.

 Talk about reducing your carbon footprint: No need for out-of-state deliveries here.

“The only transport done is me driving my hybrid Prius to the other restaurants, or simply walking the produce into the kitchen,” Hunt said.

An indoor farm, just feet from the restaurant. It’s something not just fun but quite possibly the future of farming.

More 9NEWS stories by Keely Chalmers:

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Climate


Related Posts