growUP box: an aquaponic shipping container farm
original content
jun 26, 2013
growUP box: an aquaponic shipping container farm


growUPbox: an aquaponic shipping container farm

all photos by jody kingzett photography, courtesy of growUP

 

 

 

london-based urban farming business growUP have just shared images of their successfully launched shipping container aquaponic farm in the marlborough playground as part of the chelsea fringe festival. in a collaboration with bankside open spaces trust, the little-used urban plot was enlivened by the upcycled shipping container-turned-farm designed by architect sam cox. part of a hybrid technology system called aquaponics in which methods of cultivating plants in water are synthesized with the practice of raising aquatic animals, the module is fitted with a rooftop greenhouse fed by the nutrient-rich wastewater from tilapia-filled fish tanks. in turn, the fish’s effluence is purified by plant-led nitrogen fixation and the clean water is then pumped back into the tanks. the sustainable system requires the mere input of fish food and minimal energy to power the pump system, thereby remaining devoid of soil, chemicals and pesticides. envisioned as a consolidation of technology ideal for urban spaces, the growUP box has a slight footprint of only 14 square meters and can produce approximately 100 kilograms of fish and 400 kilograms of lettuce per year. the growUP box represents an option for a viable commercial scale farming in the increasingly dense and environmentally isolated cities, especially given the fish’s vegetarian diet. this scalable urban farm is a functional result of an important approach to the urban environment as an organism that should necessarily be fed by responsive and high-performing technology.

 

 

while the project was successfully funded by kickstarter, the fundraising video explains the cyclical process

video courtesy of kickstarter

 

 

view of the launch during the chelsea fringe festival

 

 

the farm is on view near union street on a little used playground

 

 

the launch included information about the importance of local food production

 

 

the vertical farming system sits atop an upcycled shipping container

 

 

over 400 kilograms of fresh salad can be produced with the system

 

 

 

 

 

view of the tank system

 

 

 

 

view of the launch during the chelsea market

 

 

tilapia are hardy enough to be ‘grown’ in unheated water

 

 

(left): fish food is one of the only required inputs of the system
(right): the stocking density of tilapia is such that small spaces keep the fish stress-free

 

 

microgreens can additionally be culivated with the aquaponic system

 

 

 

 

the upcycled container becomes both farm and marketplace

 

 

view of the shipping container farm as a restaurant

 

 

diagram of the sustainable system

 

 

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