Finish enterprise Exsilio has developed a high-tech solution comprising a redesigned container for growing salad and herbs, among others, in urban environments. Ecological local food can be cultivated efficiently in the 13-metre long farming module known as EkoFarmer.
©Exsilio: EkoFarmer farming modules
Thomas Tapio, CEO of Exsilio says: “Our solution is ideal, for example, for restaurants and institutional kitchens wanting to produce their own fresh ingredients. The modules also serve as an excellent complementary solution for farmers to expand their traditional greenhouses with."
The unit forms a closed system that is delivered as a turnkey solution that only requires a location, water and electricity outlets. This means that the level of humidity, water, and carbon dioxide can be controlled efficiently in order to produce the optimal yield and the best possible flavour. EkoFarmer uses an ecological soil developed by Kekkilä.
EkoFarmer can be used for both commercial and scientific purposes.
Exsilio is currently on the lookout for co-creation partners that are interested in developing their own farming modules based on their own requirements. In addition to restaurants and farmers, Tapio also envisions various other prospective industrial user groups for the modules.
The social aspect
“EkoFarmer is an excellent option for business fields in need of salads, herbs, (edible) flowers or medicinal plants, for example. The social aspect of urban farming is also prominent. For this reason, our solution is suitable for associations wanting to earn some extra income, or societies wanting to offer meaningful activities for the unemployed, for example. This is an opportunity to create new micro-enterprises”, says Tapio.
The module can be placed almost anywhere, it does not occupy much space, and it is also transferable.
Making farming in container format profitable in urban environments can be challenging but according to Exsilio's calculations, it is possible when the execution is efficient enough. “Our module can produce approximately 55,000 pots of salad per year. The yield will be at least three times the amount produced in a greenhouse, since the cultivated plants are located on multiple floors. Therefore, plants can be cultivated all year round and the cultivation period can be shortened, as the amount of light and humidity can be controlled perfectly.”