PITTSBURG, Kans. — More types of produce could soon be harvested year-round thanks to a new facility in Pittsburg.
I say facility — but it’s really a shipping container.
That’s right Mike, so lettuce get down to business.
California native Brad Fourby has created the first farm of its kind in Kansas. The goal is to help expand access to fresh produce to the places that need it most, regardless of the time of year.
“Kansas was the perfect opportunity to start producing some fresh food for the community versus having it trucked in,” said Brad Fourby, Leafy Greens Farms.
You could still truck in the farm, however.
Brad Fourby has created a compact version of the typical farm. He’s growing acres of food in a climate controlled shipping container in Pittsburg, Kansas.
“What we’re starting to do is onsite food production, where we’re going to be growing food year-round, regardless of weather, regardless of the climate and start producing a thousand heads of lettuce a week,” said Fourby.
Fourby is focused on helping cities outside of Pittsburg as well.
He’s been reaching out to Cherokee and Bourbon County city governments and organizations to find a way to expand access to fresh produce.
“Much of Cherokee County is considered a food desert, so anything we can do to expand access to fresh and healthy food, we’re interested in that,” said Jake Letner, Columbus Community Development Coordinator.
“We think there’s a need, and the need is going to be microfarming, something that can be supported by the local community that doesn’t have that opportunity for a large grocery store to come in,” said Fourby.
Officials are hoping future projects with Leafy Greens Farms could help cut down the costs of produce.
“Often the unhealthy stuff is the cheaper stuff,” said Letner.
“We’re all ears and we’re definitely excited to find any organizations or groups that promote the consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables,” he continued.
“We want that reach of good clean food, we want people to start thinking ‘hey, Southeast Kansas can produce food year-round, what else can we do, how can we support the restaurants here,’ giving them something on the menu that no one else in the state even has,” said Fourby.
The amazing thing is the container farm uses 95 percent less water than a typical farm.
In a day the unit only uses 10 gallons of water, it even harvests a gallon of water a day from the air.