Village Hydroponics

How to Build an Indoor Farm 

2023 Grant Amount: $7,500

Growing vegetables inside of a shipping container has been a tried and true method for a number of years, but for-profit companies that build them are extremely tight-lipped. This project will be one of the only open-source resources on how to build a hydroponic vegetable farm inside of a shipping container in the world, and certainly the first in Vermont. Village Hydroponics will use social media channels, website, in person visits, and other communication platforms to provide step by step details on how to build a hydroponic farm operation. 

They aim to show that if they can build an indoor farm that engages and feeds our community in the dead of a Vermont winter, so can you, and here's how you can do it. They invite you to follow along with their whole journey, from the moment they purchase their first piece of infrastructure through their first harvest and beyond. They will also share how they found a site location for the farm, zoning approval process, rebate work with Burlington Electric Department, and more. 

This work strives to both strengthen and shorten the links holding the food value chain together. During the growing season, Vermont is a near-magical realm of local food production, distribution, and access. The People’s Farmstand (TPF) and other partner organizations are able to uplift and utilize local farms, distribution channels, and points of sale. But during VT's long and cold off season, accessible food distributions dwindle to near nonexistence and store shelves fill with produce shipped from thousands of miles away. Village Hydroponics (VH) can shed light on the topics of the food value chain and food miles. By utilizing controlled environment agriculture and mutual aid methods to grow, distribute, and sell vegetables through the entire off season, we can take a pivotal step in our community's self-sufficiency. 

If VH supplies leafy greens, another farm provides storage crops, a third farm provides milk and eggs, and a baker provides bread, they have together provided a full diet share while simultaneously localizing the food value chain. Village Hydroponics asks: “if we can do it in Burlington, VT, why should we keep this knowledge to ourselves?”