St. Petersburg, Florida-based Thrive Containers officially launched operations this week for its controlled-environment farming technology, a hardware-software system for growing produce out of shipping containers. The company’s first model, dubbed the Ohio Farm Container Model, is built for growing leafy greens, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
Like other companies in the indoor ag space, Thrive builds its farms inside 40-foot-long shipping containers and grows plants vertically. Thrive uses the Flood and Drain hydroponic growing method for plants, which is exactly as it sounds. Plant roots are periodically “flooded” with nutrient-enriched water, which saturates the growth medium in which the plants sit. The nutrient solution is then drained, and the process is repeated, usually multiple times a day.
Artemis’ (née Agrylist) provides the software to control those water cycles as well as the light “recipes” for the plants. Via a smartphone interface, growers can create planting schedules, control the climate inside the containers, track crop health, and detect food-safety issues.
Thrive is owned by Brick Street Farms, a company that recently partnered with Publix brand Greenwise to bring its container farms to grocery stores in Florida. Thrive hasn’t yet said if it plans to follow in its parent company’s steps and focus on grocery. Other potential use cases include bringing farms to schools, as Freight Farms has done, and locating them at food distribution centers, as Square Roots and Gordon Food Service have.
Thrive’s farms can currently grow a variety of lettuces and yield between about 5,000 and 12,000 pounds of greens annually, depending on the crop. Pricing for the Ohio starts at $127,500. For an additional cost, growers can add extra equipment like containers for cold storage and packing. Future models, including those designed to grow micro greens and cannabis, are listed on the company’s website, though specific release dates are yet to be revealed.