Freight Farms

upstarts freight farms

Brad McNamara and Jonathan Friedman set out to find a more efficient way to farm. But they did it in a pretty unique way.

Their company, Freight Farms, uses old shipping containers to create self-contained farms in a box.

The insulated boxes are equipped with cameras, LED lights and come with everything needed to grow leafy greens. The system monitors nutrient levels, water temperature and carbon dioxide. It connects to your phone, so you can monitor it on the go.

Since launching in 2011, Freight Farms has raised $5 million. Its containers -- which cost $76,000 -- are being used by restaurants, schools and hotels, among others.

Because the overhead is so minimal, Friedman, 32, said it shouldn't be hard for his customers to turn a profit. It's possible to produce 1,100 heads of lettuce a week.

Related: This farm in a box generates $15,000 a month

First published June 24, 2015: 8:16 AM ET