Urban farmer thinks ‘inside the box,’ grows greens inside shipping containers

Urban farmer DeMario Vitalis, of New Age Provisions in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., is leveraging the science of hydroponics to grow and sell unique, organic produce in an even-more-unique growing environment.

Urban farmer DeMario Vitalis, of New Age Provisions in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., is leveraging the science of hydroponics inside shipping containers. With a desire to grow without access to any land, Vitalis says, he purchased his first container in August 2020.

Since that was during the COVID-19 pandemic, and restaurants were shut down, he had to seek out other opportunities to sell his leafy greens.

“That forced me to get into more of the farm-to-table type of market as well as looking at online farmers markets, for instance, like Marketwagon.com, Vitalis says. “And then selling off my website, being more socially active, and kind of getting the buzz out there that you know there are fresh vegetables in the local community.”

What keeps Vitalis coming back each day? He says it’s enjoying the things you produce, and knowing that they are proving something good for your community.

He also wrote a book about his work, “Shipping Container Farming - New Age Farming.” It offers readers a glimpse at his journey as well as shares the valuable knowledge he’s learned about hydroponic systems that can be used within a shipping container.

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