Houston’s Urban Container Farm Unfazed By Harvey

While many Texas crops got flooded, one unconventional Houston farm was able to supply restaurants with fresh lettuce after Harvey


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A 320-square-foot container just north of downtown Houston is not where you would expect to find a farm, but that's exactly where is located at.

Acre in a Box consists of two shipping containers retrofitted to grow leafy greens.

"All of our seeding goes through a germination process," the young company's CEO, Andrew Abendshein, explained.

After that, the seeds are planted into 256 hanging towers where they grow – vertically – to lettuce, kale or mustard greens.

Abendshein and his team then distribute them to local restaurants and farmers markets. The container is manufactured by Boston-based Freight Farms.

Besides the convenience of having this more or less mobile farm in an urban setting, the concept proved useful during Harvey because the water didn't get to it. So they were able to provide a restaurant that was open with fresh lettuce.

"We were the only salads on their menu that day," Abendshein said. "And it was great because people, I think it was the first real day people could kind of get out, and we had fresh produce for everybody."

Abendshein hopes to expand and eventually serve markets and grocery stores in Houston's food deserts.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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