'New Farmers' can grow 4 tons of farm produce a year without sunlight
Farm in the heart of the city
Silverstein is a crop specialist at Freight Farm which created the Leafy Green Machine (the name of the model). In essence, the company will be shipping containers full of hydroponic equipments and tools that can produce between 2 and 4 tons of farm produce a year, in any form of climate or location. "You can put it in the parking lot or on the sidewalk, so you do not have to choose good land," Silverstein said. The shortage of agricultural land is a problem for urban people who want to grow their own crops, but now all problems are solved.
According to the MIT Tech Review, the best feature of this machine is that it can grow climate-sensitive plants in cold environments, such as Boston, and Silverstein is aiming for further growth: outer space. Freight Farms has worked with NASA to find ways to bring Leafy Green Machine into space. Silverstein said that they looked at ways to accelerate planting time and how to recreate seed inputs and seeds over time, since input was critical to the development of plants in space.
New type of farmers
Silverstein is part of a group of young, highly educated people who consider agriculture a special industry in the world. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers aged 25-34 rose 2.2 percent between 2007 and 2012, marking the second consecutive growth of the industry in the last century. Among these young farmers, 69% had college degrees. "I learned about business and environmental policies, so I think that developing agriculture and food is one of the most practical ways to reduce environmental problems," Silverstein said.
Jaime Silverstein and her plants
Contributing to the development of life
At the desk, Silverstein is a customer service employee, in other time she analyzes the data from Freight Farm's trial setup. For the rest of the day, she's always busy with seedlings transplanting to test how to get the best salads and chili peppers from Leafy Green Machine of Freight Farms.
As a crop specialist, as well as a farmer, scientist, and a serious desk clerk, this is really a model for the zeal that young people need to move towards. She spent a lot of time on the machine, but the results were not good - some trees died - for Silverstein, this was the hardest part of the job. "They think I should do it in the other way, or the plants do not guarantee quality, so I want to make them better."
By: Scarlet Johnson