SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local start-up is getting attention for what it created in a busy parking lot.
The Santa Fe parking lot outside La Montañita Co-op Food Market gets a lot of traffic, but it took people a while to figure out what was being built.
“We’d drive by and we’d look at this and think, ‘I wonder what that is?’” said Terri Rodriguez.
“At first, I thought it was like an abandoned container,” said Cody Zeck.
Now, people are stopping to ask.
“It’s a farm that fits in a parking space,” said Mike Straight, CEO of FarmPod.
He said a FarmPod is basically a kit with everything you need to build a farm, packed into a shipping container.
Straight said, from there, it would take two people about three days to assemble the FarmPod.
Eventually, it will grow about a hundred pounds of produce on just 20 gallons of rainwater a week, Straight said.
On the first floor, the fish eat. Then, their waste gets mixed in a water tank and pumped up to the second floor where a greenhouse sits on top of the shipping container.
“These are all different varieties of basil,” Straight said, pointing to plants in the greenhouse.
He is also growing cabbage, strawberries and celery.
Straight said FarmPod has taken some of the lettuce and strawberries to local restaurants to try it out. He plans to donate the rest to local food banks.
Zeck said after stopping to check out the FarmPod, “600 plants, apparently, this can fit and it’s completely self-sufficient.”
Straight said the water from the fish filters through the plants, cleaning it, so it can go back to the fish to complete the cycle.
“I mean, in such a small area, you can put it in a parking lot! It’s just, it’s amazing. I’m… I”m blown away,” Rodriguez said.
A FarmPod costs from $37,000 to $46,000 depending on the weather where the customer lives, but Straight claims it pays for itself in a year.
He hopes it will serve restaurants and schools.
The company has already taken 100 pre-orders.