'Square Roots' Grows Fresh Greens In Brooklyn's Retired Shipping Containers

11 months ago

Large steel shipping containers are getting some extra use by a startup in Brooklyn. Square Roots has selected 10 people to be urban farmers, setting up a service for their neighborhood to sell freshly grown vegetables. It provides a solid job, while also getting some use out of the old steel containers.

10 different urban farmers have their specialties they grow inside of containers that span over 300 square feet. All the green options available include Genovese basil, Tuscan kale, Astro arugula, and much more. None of the crops are genetically modified and there are no pesticides used.

Consumers that live or work in the Brooklyn area can order a bag of greens on Square Roots’ home page. The company uses a subscription process that charges each week. There are three different levels consumers can choose from: Nanobite, Megabite, and Terabite. The first gives one fresh package of vegetables for $7, the second offers three bags for $15, and the best value is the seven-bag option for $35. Farmers can make anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 for the year-long run.

Customers can choose a specific day in the ordering process for the food delivery. Various greens and herbs are picked from the over 40 options available from the farmers. However, customers that want specific greens have to contact their local distributor in order to make it work. As a close-knit network, they can usually reach out to farmers that grow a specific crop. 

There’s also flexibility available for subscribers. A week can be skipped as long as the local farmer is notified 48 hours in advance. For those that no longer want to get fresh greens, they can unsubscribe six days in advance, hassle-free.

Operating expenses are fairly cheap for the 10 workers. Rent and utilities check in at $1,500 per month, which is not bad considering the square feet, how tough it is to have that size of property in a big city, and how much they can make. These workers will operate their gardens for 12 months, and most of them took just a week to set things up and start growing.

#Realfoodentrepreneur @farmingitup spreading the word on #local #urbanfarming 👊🌱🗽

A post shared by Square Roots (@squarerootsgrow) on

Square Roots was founded by Tobias Peggs and Kimbal Musk, who is the brother of Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk. Kimbal also cofounded The Kitchen Community, which creates outdoor garden classrooms for hands-on learning. Over 262 gardens have been installed in the last six years, and studies show that students are 23 percent more likely to eat vegetables thanks to the program.

Peggs told Melissa Fares of Reuters that the year-long process provides a great method for people that want to get their Master’s degree. It’s also similar to a paid internship opportunity, as he explains it is an " alternative path would be doing an MBA in food management, probably costing them tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars," adding that he hopes farmers start companies of their own after they graduate from the program.

NewsLyft Rides Are Officially Carbon-Neutral

Joining tech giants that have committed to 100 percent renewable energy, Lyft will be investing millions into various sustainable projects to make all of their rides carbon neutral. 

By Brian Spaen
5 days ago
NewsNYC's Air Quality Is Cleaner Than Ever Since Monitoring Began

Based on a survey from New York City's Health Department, the city has seen drops in greenhouse gas emissions and the air quality is as clean as it's been since monitoring it back in 2008. It's all part of Mayor de Blasio's sustainable efforts from 2015.

By Brian Spaen
5 days ago
CommunityGreen Matters Is Hiring Freelance Writers!

We want your original, reported stories on sustainability.

By Green Matters
5 days ago
NewsThe UK Just Went 55 Hours Without Using Coal For Power

The UK's National Grid announced that no London power stations used coal for energy production for a span of 55 hours from late Monday into early Thursday morning. It beats the old record of just over 40 hours from last October, and wind power levels continue to impress.

By Brian Spaen
6 days ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter