Freight Farm Diaries: Gone Freight Farming

Did you know there’s a farm on campus that’s feeding you?

That farm, part of the Freight Farm project, is something I’m excited to be participating in this year.

Hi, I’m Taylor Pruitt, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas. I’ve been working on the Freight Farm project since my freshmen year.

Freight Farms is a company that was created for sustainable, hydroponic growth of plants in urban areas. The Boston-based company has given many farmers the opportunity to grow high quality produce in areas where traditional farming is not realistic.

Freight Farm ArrivalIn the traditional farm setting, harvests are likely to suffer from drought, an abundance of rain, freezing or wind burn, but none of these factors exist within the freight farm’s environment – not unless you want them to. The Freight Farm shipping container allows farmers to completely manipulate the environment in which their leafy greens and herbs are grown.

When I learned about the Freight Farming project, I was immediately hooked.

I attended an event where I met several Chartwells staff members, our campus dining providers, who told me they wanted to start a Freight Farm at the university. Not only would I be getting great professional experience, I realized working for them on the Freight Farm project would be a great way for me to incorporate both of my majors – Agricultural Business and Hospitality Innovation.

I grew up on a farm where my family raised livestock and had a large-scale garden, so agriculture was right up my alley.

In my classes, one of the hot topics we discuss is that in the future, our population will be too large to provide enough food for. That’s why Freight Farming is so important, because it is one solution to this problem.

Contributing to the ever-growing campaign for fresh, sustainable produce is what drives my personal interest in the Freight Farming project.

Consumers are demanding transparency from the food and agricultural industries on the exact process of growing food from seeding to harvest, and that’s exactly what we’re offering to consumers in our dining halls. The farm’s existence on campus will allow students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to watch their food grow.

I see Freight Farming as a way to start fighting against the difficulty of growing and the lack of high-quality produce. And I can do that right here at the University of Arkansas.