The Autobahn

We’d done research on hydroponic systems and Freight Farms captivated us. It ticked all the right boxes. Condensed, contained, efficient, sustainable and nearly automated, The Greenery S model can grow over three acres of food every seven weeks. THREE ACRES. The property for our home is on 3.55 acres. It takes 4 hours to mow the grass. I try to imagine it planted out with verdant rows of lettuces. But this is north central Florida. And while in the winter months, our climate behaves like a Zone 8b, in the summer it is a brutish Zone 9. The late summer months make gardening profoundly difficult and unpredictable. We have a gardening cycle the is the reverse of the northern states. In the winter, our local farmers are picking strawberries, when the northern farmers pick strawberries around July 4th. But the prospects of growing lettuces in the ground during Florida summers is near impossible.

But, our local restaurants offer fantastic salads on their menus. And in the hottest months of the year, they cannot source lettuce locally. It’s shipped in from distant farms out other countries. And if we want to eat local, buy local and live local, supporting out local economy – then our restaurants need a source for locally grown, sustainable lettuces and greens.

We’d been *almost* ready to implement the plan when the pandemic arrived. Then the world shut down. More than ever, we supported out local restaurants. Ordered take out, shopped their pop-up pantry offerings. And when their dining rooms reopened, we ventured forth and spent our money. Cleaned our plates and gave thanks that so many of our independent restaurants weathered the pandemic.

In late 2022, we made the decision to purchase our Freight Farm. And in early 2023, the plan was set in motion. We hired DM Creative Studio to help us with our logo and website. We were playing with the word AUTOBAHN. Patrick is Swiss German and it was a nod to his Swiss and European roots. Its is also a word that sounds like AUTO-BARN. And that’s how The Greenery S feels, like an automatic farm inside a shipping container. It can be loaded onto a cargo ship and sent around the world. It is a farm inside a freight container.

At Autobarn Farm, we grow conventional lettuces, leafy greens, herbs and radishes in a very unconventional way. All our seeds are organic, non-GMO sources from Johnny’s Seeds or Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. We can provide consistent produce 365 days a year on less than five gallons of water a day. Our location, at San Felasco Tech City, provides us with clean power from solar energy and the location makes delivery and transportation easy access off Hwy 441.

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