CEA Advisors is offering its 20-foot, fully equipped Growtainer, a highly engineered modular vertical production environment optimized to produce high-value microgreens for growers wishing to market hyperlocal specialty products to consumers, chefs and restaurants, according to a press release.
Each 20-foot, fully insulated Growtainer has been substantially modified by the removal of the container doors, the installation of an end-mounted man door and the installation of an insulated wall with a door inside the container to create a separate utility area, epoxy flooring throughout and a climate-controlled production area. The utility area creates a barrier against climate fluctuations and prevents pest and disease contamination in the production chamber.
Each chamber is optimized for microgreens production with a vertical rack system, which contains five vertical production levels. Each level contains three, 10-foot-wide x 12-foot-long NFT CropKing gutters for a total of 360 linear feet of production, equaling a potential harvest of 108 “1020” grower trays per week. Each level contains three to four energy-efficient, crop-specific, full-spectrum LED fixtures for optimum growth, according to the release.
Each Growtainer comes complete with CEA Advisors’ automatic hydroponic system for water monitoring, automatic dosing and nutrient recirculation. The production chamber is air conditioned and includes Humidistat-controlled vents and hi-cfm fans to maintain an even temperature and relative humidity for optimum growth, according to the release. Each chamber comes equipped with an organic CO2 system. Increases in CO2 typically result in higher yields and increased growth and reproduction, provided other growth factors like light and temperature are controlled.
Over the past eight years, CEA Advisors has designed and manufactured custom-built 40-foot, 45-foot and 53-foot shipping containers, which have been specifically modified to provide the optimum controlled environment for growing or researching a wide range of horticultural and agricultural products, according to the release. The company’s custom-built commercial Growtainers are in use worldwide for many different clients, including food manufacturers, growers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, researchers, government agencies, universities, food banks, schools and supermarkets.
Recently, CEA Advisors has developed a collaboration with CropKing, a manufacturer of hydroponic systems, to create an affordable, crop-specific Growtainer to produce microgreens for sales to chefs, restaurants, caterers, grocery retailers, etc.
CEA Advisors believes that even an inexperienced farmer using its system can generate a substantial profit with a minimal investment, according to the release. The system requires approximately 30 hours per week of labor for production and delivery, and it’s modular so you can increase production as you increase sales, and you can produce any of the hundreds of varieties of microgreens in demand by chefs everywhere, according to the release.
The 20-foot Growtainers for microgreen production are priced from $65,000 and are fully equipped and plug and play. To operate in a Growtainer, growers need a flat surface and utility hookups, such as power and water, seeds, substrate and fertilizer. Based on the company's conservative calculations, a $65,000 investment can return as much as $50,000 per year in revenue, according to the release.