Shipping Container Farm: The Pros and Cons

Shipping Container Farm: The Pros and Cons

If you go into the industrial area of any major city these days, you are sure to see a few shipping container farms. They are placed anywhere from backyards to parking lots to roofs. But how exactly do they work? Let’s go over the pros and cons of shipping container farms, so you can learn a bit more about these innovative structures.

The Good

You may have seen shipping container farms online, on TV, or in newspapers. Seeing these success stories has created an interest from people who are dreaming of transforming these discarded shipping containers into something useful. How does this work when it comes to the business of growing and selling food?

The top reasons for using shipping containers as greenhouses are:

  • They are modular and easy to ship.
  • They are compact and self-contained.
  • Used shipping containers are cheap and available.
  • Prices will continue to be driven down as the competition increases.

Easy to Transport

The primary benefit of easy shipping for these farms is that it allows manufacturers to set up shop where it is least expensive and then be able to ship them directly to a farm site loaded and ready to grow. This has great potential for the farmer who needs to be able to set up his or her farm quickly and start growing without having to worry about building a greenhouse or finding warehouse space.

Shipping container farm manufacturers can easily get their products to the farmers quickly and efficiently. They can also be sent anywhere in the world and set up in areas that were previously difficult to farm in. Hopefully over time this will help fight hunger around the world.

Leaves a Compact Footprint

Another benefit of a shipping container farm is that you need minimal space to start one and no need for a dedicated building. This means that a modern farmer or company can easily drop one of these container farms behind their restaurant or even in a parking lot. Using a container farm opens up many doors for producing food closer to where it is going to be consumed. If you want to do this, you do need to keep in mind that the container needs to sit on a flat surface to function and can sometimes require a cement pad.

Readily Available

You can find a used shipping container just about anywhere, as they have been used for decades to ship goods overseas. Millions of them have been made and are sitting empty now, just waiting for industrious recyclers to snatch them up. Some types of containers are easier to retire than to fix, such as refrigeration containers. This does represent a loss to the company, so they will be eager to sell any retired containers they can. This makes many types of used containers inexpensive.

Value-Based Competition

With the cost of getting a used shipping container being so low, there are more and more companies getting into the business of boxed farms. The more companies jump on board with this, the more the price will decrease over time as it becomes easier to acquire pre-made farms. Having a lower price point means there will be more aspiring farmers launching new businesses, and this will in turn help the supply of locally grown food in many locations.

The Bad

The core problem with used shipping containers is that they were not designed to grow food. This can put growers at a disadvantage. The biggest drawbacks of container farms are:

  • Difficulty in controlling the growth environment.
  • Structural integrity.
  • Problems with light, heat, and layout.
  • People and workflow issues.

Difficulty Controlling the Environment

If it can be managed well, there are many benefits to a controlled environment. While the benefits of the controlled environment can be good, the small area can also be a curse if the farmer finds the environment impossible to control.

At any given time in an indoor farm, the lights are generating heat and water is evaporating. This means that plants are transpiring and gasses are accumulating and being exchanged. That’s great, because it means the plants are growing! However, with all the heat and humidity, the results are amplified in a denser growing environment. To make sure your controlled environment is a blessing and not a curse, you must understand environmental control, and it must be prioritized in the design of the container farm.

Integrity Issues in Repurposed Shipping Containers

There is an often-overlooked danger of a repurposed shipping container in their limited structural lifespan. These containers have been around the world a few times and have been subjected to salt water and high winds before being discarded. This means they were well worn before they were even made into the farming business.

This will limit the life of the farm. In some cases, the quality of the container is so low that some famers have had their container condemned by the city. If you do go this route of starting a shipping container farm, be sure to carefully inspect the structure and make sure it can sustain your farm.

Appropriate Balance

This goes hand in hand with the controlled environment. Light and heat have an antagonist relationship, so the need for supplying the quality and balance needed for plants to grow to their full potential is a very important one in a shipping container farm.

Plants like light but are sensitive to heat, and this is a delicate balance in a compact metal container. Because of the tight space in shipping container farms, the farmers face an interesting problem. They need high-intensity lighting to grow the plants but often do not have enough space to install enough cooling units to deal with the heat created by the lights.

Human Workflow

The environment of farms is not just designed for the plants, it also needs to be designed for people. The big issue with shipping container farms is that they are not designed for people to work in, and this can pose a real issue for the famers.

There are two reasons why you want to keep your farm labor-friendly. The first is that labor is money, and second is that there is nothing worse than working in a hot, confined space for dozens of hours each week. This can drive workers crazy and make them dread going to work.

How efficiently your workplace is set up for workers is important and sometimes overlooked. Do not neglect this as you are shopping for a shipping container farm. The most practical way to feel out the workflow of your farm is to visit several set-up shipping container farms before you buy one yourself. Talk to other farmers and see what works best for them.

Regardless of the good or the bad of the farming, people are interested in the quality of their food. If you do your due diligence and set up a successful shipping container farm, you are bound to have some success and help play a significant role in solving the supply problem of locally grown food. Not all container farms are created equally, so be sure before you make your purchase.

If you want to check out some more Porta-Stor blogs about shipping container farms, check out The Future of Shipping Container Farms and an overview of the company Farm From A Box.

Moving Tips 

Moving Tips

You have found a new place, and now it’s time for the packing. Where do you start, and how do you get through it all without going crazy? The closets, the cabinets, and all those drawers are full of stuff that needs to get packed. Let’s go over some moving tips and tricks that might help you out.

Do You Really Need All This Stuff?

The short answer is no, you do not need to keep all of your stuff when moving. There are sure to be things you are hanging onto for sentimental reasons, things you are keeping for the DIY project you’ve wanted to work on for years now, and all those holiday decorations that you plan to use when you have more space. Every home has some clutter stored that the family doesn’t really need.

The best first step to take is to clear out this clutter. All of those things that have been shoved into closets or stored in drawers with no real chance of being used are wasting space. Now is the time to get all that out in the open and decide what to keep, toss, or donate. Go through your entire home with this in mind. It will make packing and organizing your new home so much easier if you have less clutter.

Set Up Three Piles

As you go through your things, it is best to set up separate piles. These piles should be: keep, donate, and toss.

If you have time to have a yard-sale as you get ready to move, go ahead and make a fourth pile of stuff to sell. It may be easier for you to sell online as you go. If you go this route, make sure you have the box clearly marked that is full of items to sell.

Your toss pile should be taken out of your house as soon as you have it full, so you are not tempted to go back through it and change your mind. Plus this will help clear your space, which will help clear your mind and make it easier to organize as you get ready to move.

When your donation pile is ready, the same rule applies. Make sure you get it to your charity of choice within the next day, so you do not give yourself time to change your mind.

Now with this step done, you are ready to organize and pack all the belongings you are keeping! If you want more tips on decluttering, check out Porta-Stor’s blog on that topic here.

Sort Your Things By Category

Notice that this section is not labeled “sort your things by room.” This is the first step in an organized move and an organized home. What it means is that you will sort through your things before you pack them, so it is more organized when it gets packed, and you will know where everything is located. For example, go through all of your clothes or all of your books at the same time so you know what you have and if you really need it. You might find duplicates of something or realize that you have an unnecessary amount of one type of thing.

How Will You Move?

It’s always important to research any company you plan to use online. Look up moving companies to see what option is best for you. You might end up wanting to use a storage container that you can pack yourself as you go, or you may prefer a moving truck with workers doing the heavy lifting. Just make sure you look into the options and have one ready before the time comes to actually move.

This leads to the next moving tip: make sure you set up the right moving day for you and your family. If you are hiring a moving company, make sure you hire them about a month out from your move date. If you are able to have some flexibility in the date you move, search for the least expensive option and remember that most moving companies are busiest on Saturdays. It may be to your benefit to try and schedule your moving day in the middle of the week. You can find more information on the best times of the year to move here.

Create a Moving To-Do List and Calendar

Get out that notebook and start making a list. This moving tip will help you put what you need to do first into top priority and plan when each task needs to be done. Go ahead and use your family calendar to write important things down too. That way your entire family knows and can help you get things done. This takes the stress off of you and allows for your family to do their part and get involved in the move.

Packing Tips

Now that you are organized and have gone through all the clutter, it is time to start really packing up your belongings. Here are a few moving tips that will help you make it easier:

Kitchen:

When you pack your plates, you can stack them vertically, like records, and they will be less likely to break. You can find more information on backing breakables here.

When you pack your casserole dishes and other breakables, you can use your clothes or towels to pack around them like bubble wrap. This does two things at once – you get your dishes packed, plus some of your clothes as well!

Use your socks to pack your drink ware. Again, you are packing your dishes and some of your clothes at the same time.

Electronics:

Before you unplug and take apart your TV or any other electronics in your home, make sure you take a quick picture of how everything is hooked up, so it is easier to put together at your new home.

Closets:

In your clothes closets, leave the clothes hanging, and pull a large trash bag around sections of them. Make sure you then secure the trash bag around the hangers. This way you can keep all clothes on the hangers and move them from one closet to the new closet a lot easier.

Drawers:

As you go through all the drawers in your home, from the kitchen to the bedroom, keep Ziploc bags handy for the little things. You can keep it all together and move it while still in the drawer without worrying about losing something tiny.

Simply place plastic wrap over the top of the clothes in your drawers and press it down. This holds your clothes in place and keeps them sealed for the move.

Use any and all baskets and suitcases you have around your home. These are great ‘boxes’ for packing things in, and it gives you fewer boxes to move, since you are taking these baskets and suitcases with you anyway. Use them!

With just these few basic moving tips, you can make your packing and moving process much easier and more organized. Take it all one day at a time, and try to enjoy the process. Moving into a fresh new home can be exciting!

Tips for Organizing After Moving

Tips for Organizing After Moving

You’ve finally moved all of your stuff into your new home. No small task! But now that the initial battle round is over, you are standing around and looking at mountains of boxes, wondering where to start after moving. If you organized your belongings while you packedand labeled the boxes well, you’re off to a good start. Those boxes should be sorted into the rooms where they will be unpacked. But how exactly do you start unpacking and organizing all of this stuff? Your things will fit differently in your new home, and you may find that you do not need some items that you did in your previous one.

It’s helpful to tackle one area at a time. Which places you unpack first depend on what’s most important to you and your family.

Children’s Bedroom

If you have small children, it’s good to start unpacking their rooms first. The most obvious reason is there are toys and belongings that will help keep your child occupied as you organize the rest of your home. It will also help the child adjust easier if they have their familiar belongings with them from the start. By setting up your child’s bedroom or nursery first, you are creating a safe place for your child to go if things get overwhelming or confusing after moving.

This is also a great time to do another purge of toys and clothes that your child has outgrown or no longer plays with. Start fresh in your new home with only what your child needs and uses. If you want, you can find more tips for moving with small children here.

After the kids’ bedrooms are set up, make sure you also set up your own before it’s time to crash for the evening.

Kitchen

If you do not have a child’s room or nursery to set up, the kitchen should be your first priority. As you start to unpack, get the things put away that you will most likely reach for first, like plates, glasses, utensils, cutlery, and dish towels. These items should be stored in areas that you can easily access.

Your pots and pans should be stored in a cabinet right by the stove so they are easy to access when needed. As you unpack your dinnerware, be sure to place the most used items (plates, cereal bowls, coffee mugs, etc.) on the lowest, most easily accessible shelves.

Think about how you want to organize your countertops. All of those small appliances take up so much space! Check and see if you have an extra cabinet that you can store some of these in while still having easy access. If you are a big coffee drinker, you might want to set up a separate little area in your kitchen as a coffee bar. If you don’t have enough space on the counter, get a rolling or stationary cart just for your caffeine. Hold all things coffee in the designated spot: the coffee pot, French press, creamer, sugar, mugs, and more. This will open up cabinet space for other things, and will help make your mornings go smoother as you grab your coffee and start the day.

As you stock up your pantry, think about using a lazy Susan to hold all of your extra condiments. This takes up less space, and you can just turn and grab for whatever you need. Use baskets for bread and other fast breakfast foods.

If you put these ideas into motion when you first move in, it will make the flow of the kitchen much easier as you settle into your new home.

Electronics

For many people, their electronics are one of the first things that need to be unpacked and set up in a good location. Computers, televisions, tablets, phones, iPods, cords, cables…for many families, the list of crucial gadgets is endless, and if you do not set up a good spot as soon as you can, your home will become a tangled, confusing mess of cords and chargers. Find a drawer or basket in which to store extra cables and cords. You might find it helpful to set up a charging center so all the gadgets are easily located in one spot.

So now your cords are in one area, but they are still a tangled mess. This is a great time to take some toilet paper tubes and place the wrapped cords inside those before you forget about them. This makes them easy to find, plus they are less likely to get all tangled up, and you can label them.

Linen Closet and Medicinal Space

In the crazy days of those first weeks after moving, you will be grateful for the ability to clean up in a shower, sleep in a freshly made bed, and find your medication if you get a headache. (If towels, sheets, and aspirin are not easy to locate, you will for sure get a headache!) As you unpack the towels and sheets, go ahead and wash them before placing them in the closet to remove any dust and debris from moving.

As you go through and put all your medications away in your medicine cabinet, check the expiration dates and throw out anything that is expired. To add more space, consider adding stick-on clear organizers to the inside of the cabinet door. These can hold bandages and other small items, leaving shelf space for other things. If you do not have a medicine cabinet in your bathroom and need to store these items in your linen closet as well, think about using a spice rack, or you can use some plastic bins from the dollar store to keep similar medications organized and together.

Laundry Room

As you are washing up those linens you unpacked, it is a good time to get your laundry area set up. Along with the laundry soap and stain remover, this is a great place to store other cleaning products too. If you are tight on space to store those things, think about setting up a narrow rolling cart to hold all these items and slide it in between or nearby your washer and dryer. By doing this, you will corral all the items you need, and they will always be just a short reach away when you do laundry.

Entryway

A small table with a bowl to toss your keys into along with one or two baskets to corral all the shoes at your front door will help organize your home from the minute you walk in. Add a couple hooks or a coatrack to hold jackets, purses, and backpacks, and you are good to go. It’s also a good idea to set up an area for dirty shoes, especially if people are trudging in and out of the house while moving in wet weather.

Think of these ideas as you unpack and settle in to your new house. They will help you fall into the great habit of keeping an organized home. Setting up the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and electronic areas first maximizes the spaces you will spend the most time in, and will help you feel relaxed and ready to tackle all the other boxes sitting in front of you after moving.

If you want more moving tips from Porta-Stor, check out this moving checklist!

Storage Container Organization

Storage Container Organization

Moving your stuff into storage might seem like a daunting task. But with some planning and preparation, you can easily get everything you want into your storage unit without too much fuss. Plus, you’ll be able to retrieve any items you need without digging through the entire container! Check out these tips for storage container organization to help you decide the best way for you to use your storage space.

Have a Plan

As you get ready to go through your belongings, the first step is to make sure you have a good plan. Are you storing loose appliances or just boxes? Think about what you will need access to the most and what you are storing long-term. If there are appliances or boxes that you know you won’t need, put them towards the back. Put things like seasonal clothes and decorations in a more accessible area, since you’ll need to reach them and switch them out often.

Also make sure that you have all the packing materials you need before you start. Some items will need boxes and others will not. Some boxes will need filling materials like bubble wrap to prevent movement. Are you storing mattresses or furniture? Make sure you have blankets or drop cloths to cover them. This will help protect them from dirt and dust until you need them again. It may seem easiest to just pack and go, but having a plan will make getting to your stuff back out of storage easier. Your future self will thank you!

Size of the Unit

As you get ready to move or downsize, an important step is to look at your available space. How much space will you need to store all of your belongings? There are several sizes of storage containers. While you are deciding what you will need, be sure to remember all those hiding places in your home that you will be cleaning out. From closets to the basement and attic, you need to make sure to account for everything. If you are unsure of what size will be best, you can always ask the storage company you use. They are full of advice that can help simplify the process of choosing a storage container.

If you choose to use Porta-Stor for your storage solutions, you can find several sizes available to you. Check out this blog that gives suggestions for determining the container size you need. From on-site storage to portable moving containers, there is sure to be a unit that fits your needs.

Packing your Belongings

Now that you have created a plan and decided on the best storage unit size, it’s time to get packing. Label all boxes as you pack. This makes it easier while you are packing, and it also makes it much easier to access your stuff later while it’s in storage. Use bubble wrap or other packing materials on the things you want protected from breakage and dust. You can check out Porta-Stor’s blog on how to pack fragile items for more information. As you pack, make sure you do not make the boxes too heavy. They will be much easier to move and store if they don’t weigh a ton!

Moving your Belongings into the Container

Now that you have all of your belongings packed and labeled, what is the next step? Get those big items into the back of the container or along the side walls. These are the things you will probably need the least access to, and they need to be out of the way. If you do have heavier and bigger boxes, they must to go on the bottom of the stack as you fill in the unit. This makes it more stable for the lighter boxes you stack on top and less likely to tumble down or crush your belongings later.

When you are loading the storage container, try and create an aisle down the middle of the unit if possible. Doing this will help you get to items you need and give you more access to items in the back or along the sides. If you happen to have a really large unit, you may even be able to create two aisles of access. If there is no way for you to create an aisle within the container, make sure you place the items you will need most access to at the front of the unit. These may include things like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing items, and important documents.

As you move you stuff into the container, remember to make sure all labels are facing out towards where you can see them easily. You also should double check that every box is labeled.

Maximizing the Space

If you are planning to store large appliances, there are a few things to consider. Always make sure that appliances are clean before you put them into storage, especially if you’re storing something messy like a refrigerator. If you do store a fridge, you can use its shelves to store smaller boxes and items. Storing a bookshelf along the wall? Use those shelves as well! This makes a great space saver and keeps items up off the ground. Dressers are also great because you can not only stack things on top, but also inside the drawers.

It’s best to pack lighter items into your furniture so you do not damage anything. Again, put the heaviest items on the bottom. Make sure you can get into the shelves or refrigerator if you need to. You should also make a label of what is stored inside these closed containers to help you remember without digging them out. By using these pieces of furniture, you are maximizing space and will fit more into your storage container.

The Final Step to Storage Container Organization

It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but making a diagram of where you have items will help you later. Depending on how long you will be using the unit, it will become harder to remember where you placed things over the months and years. Right after the unit is packed is the best time to create this quick diagram, since the item locations are fresh in your mind. A great place to keep the diagram is taped into the inside of the container door. You don’t want to regret ignoring this idea later! The more organized you are with your storage, the easier it will be to find what you need later.

Now that you have these simple tips for storage container organization, get those boxes out and start cleaning the house! If you need more storage or moving ideas, check out Porta-Stor’s other blogs here.

Casitas Springs Retail Storage Solutions

Casitas Springs Retail Storage Solutions

Are you waiting for an excess of seasonal products from the supplier that are about to hit your shelves or do just need extra space? Porta Stor can help you with your retail storage needs. We provide clean, secure, high quality steel containers that will protect your inventory from the elements. We offer five sizes and four of the five come with a pipe racking system free of charge if needed so you can create shelves for better organization.

Learn More About Our Containers

Typical storage applications implemented by Retail households may include:

  • Books
  • Toys
  • Paper documents
  • Seasonal items
  • Unused supplies

Retail businesses big and small have made use of our storage containers. Contact Us with questions or to arrange for delivery to your retail location.

With our free delivery and removal throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles County we have the best prices around (compare here).  We will also transport containers between locations with our low cost “respot” fee, making us the best option for you.

Portable Storage in Casitas Springs

Casitas Springs is a small town located in Ventura County between Ventura and Ojai. If you’re an original country music fan Casitas Springs is the hometown of Johnny Cash. When extra storage is a need we want you to know that our containers are your best bet. Our storage containers are weather resistant which will keep any documents or items you need stored extra safe. The containers also use a double lock system, this protects each containers contents from theft. We also provide container relocation within Casitas Springs or to other locations in our Service Area.

Please Contact Us to rent portable storage containers in Casitas Springs or with questions about our container rental, delivery, and removal policies for Casitas Springs Retail Storage Containers.

 

Rent Office Containers in Camarillo

Rent Office Containers in Camarillo

Porta-Stor cargo storage containers and roll off containers are perfect for providing offices and large business with affordable extra storage. These containers are airtight, watertight, and highly secure.

Learn More About Our Containers

Typical storage applications implemented by hospitals may include:

  • Office Records
  • Paper documents
  • Extra furniture
  • Office supplies
  • Janitorial supplies

High rises, small office buildings and many similar establishments utilize our steel containers for compact onsite storage.

With our free delivery and removal throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles County we have the best prices around.  We will also transport storage containers between locations with our low cost “respot” fee, making us the best option for you.

Portable Storage Container Rental in Camarillo, California

Looking for Portable Storage Container Rental in Camarillo? Rent a Porta-Stor portable steel container in Camarillo, California. Our containers are all-steel and come in roll-off or overseas style, depending on the size. Free container delivery and removal is provided in Camarillo as well as all 95 other cities in our Service Area. Do you need your storage container relocated? Contact Us to inquire further.

If you need more storage space in Camarillo, Porta-Stor is the answer for you. Locally owned & operated since 1975. We provide clean, secure & economical storage containers for commercial facilities, construction sites, retail stores, and residential homes in Camarillo.  Porta-Stor gives you the space you need! WE SAVE YOU MONEY! We have NO sales Tax, NO hidden fees, NO setup costs and NO fuel surcharges. Contact us today for more information for portable storage rental in Camarillo. We look forward to serving your portable storage rental needs! When looking for Portable Storage Container Rental in Camarillo, Porta-Stor has you covered.

OUR CONTAINERS ARE INVESTMENTS FOR YOUR FUTURE! Porta-Stor provides free delivery to our Camarillo customers. Whether you have a small-scale renovation project, large retail commercial business or any size construction site, we are committed to helping you create more space. We also provide portable storage rental for manufacturing and distribution centers in Camarillo. We always offer FREE REMOVAL for all of our clients in Camarillo. We guarantee competitive and timely quotes at an affordable monthly rental rate for our portable storage containers which have made us one of the most outstanding storage container companies in Camarillo.

Camarillo Portable Storage

The Camarillo Premium Outlets is one of the largest commercial shopping centers in Ventura County. Along with the Outlets, Camarillo has many development projects which include residential town homes, schools, retail and more. Our portable storage containers are perfect for large commercial complexes like the Camarillo Outlets and construction projects. Our containers are weather sealed which keeps your contents safe from the elements. Another important feature on our containers is the double lock system. This protects each containers contents from theft. We also provide container relocation within Camarillo or to other locations in our Service Area.

Please Contact Us with questions about Portable Storage Container Rental in Camarillo and our container rental, delivery, and removal policies.

Carpinteria Retail Storage Solutions

Carpinteria Retail Storage Solutions

Are you waiting for an excess of seasonal products from the supplier that are about to hit your shelves or do just need extra space? Porta Stor can help you with your retail storage needs. We provide clean, secure, high quality steel containers that will protect your inventory from the elements. We offer five sizes and four of the five come with a pipe racking system free of charge if needed so you can create shelves for better organization.

Learn More About Our Containers

Typical storage applications implemented by Retail households may include:

  • Books
  • Toys
  • Paper documents
  • Seasonal items
  • Unused supplies

Retail businesses big and small have made use of our storage containers. Contact Us with questions or to arrange for delivery to your retail location.

With our free delivery and removal throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles County we have the best prices around (compare here).  We will also transport containers between locations with our low cost “respot” fee, making us the best option for you.

Portable Storage in Carpinteria

Carpinteria is a small beach community 15 minutes south east of Santa Barbara. Don’t let the small town feel fool you, Carpinteria is headquarters of one of the fastest growing private company Lynda.com. Carpinteria is also home to the Avocado Fest, the popular Santa Barbara Polo Club and Hollandia Produce. Our storage containers are weather resistant which will keep any documents or items you need stored extra safe. The containers also use a double lock system, this protects each containers contents from theft. We also provide container relocation within Carpinteria or to other locations in our Service Area. Please Contact Us with questions to Rent Storage Containers in Carpinteria and learn about our container rental, delivery, and removal policies for Carpinteria Retail Storage Containers.