Irvington Test Farm
Our Test Farm in Irvington, Alabama spanned two acres and encompassed various elements, such as in-ground planting, two hydroponic greenhouses, two hoop houses, and the creation and operation of our shipping container prototype. Here, we explored diverse growing methods, conducted market research, and deepened our understanding of farmers' challenges, all leading to valuable insights into agricultural efficiency and sustainability. We rigorously tested a range of seeds and crop types, analyzing growth patterns and yields to identify the best-performing and most flavorful varieties. Additionally, we extensively evaluated different types of grow lights to achieve the optimal balance, refining conditions for our shipping container prototype, which was both conceptualized and built on this very farm.
In addition to being a research and development facility, our Test Farm played an integral role in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In conjunction with our CSA program, we also formed partnerships with numerous local restaurants, and our produce was made available through select local grocery stores. Beyond this, we actively contributed to our community by donating thousands of pounds of our fresh produce to local food banks, underscoring our commitment to sustainable practices and community support.
Despite our rigorous efforts and valuable lessons learned, external factors such as the pandemic and significant hurricane damage impacted the continued operation of the test farm. Ultimately, after comprehensive evaluation and repair, we regretfully decided not to reopen. The knowledge gained from this initiative, however, continues to shape our commitment to advancing sustainable agricultural practices in new and innovative ways.