St. Pete 'shipping container farm' launches membership program

- An interesting way of farming has made its way to St. Petersburg, and it’s caught so much buzz the owners say they can barely keep up with the demand.

Shannon O’Malley and her husband combined their experience of software engineering and hobby of gardening into a major business called Brick Street Farms.

"It’s more computers than it is farming, and our background is software engineering," O’Malley said.

O’Malley runs a hydroponic farm in St. Petersburg, which means three separate ‘farms’ inside shipping containers produce roughly 12,000 plants every month.

It’s an elaborate system which can be controlled from an app on her phone, which requires no dirt and no pesticides.

“This is a full-scale commercial operation,” O’Malley said.

Until now, Brick Street Farms only catered to restaurants and resorts in Tampa Bay – but that’s changing. Brick Street is bringing in a fourth shipping container to grow produce the general public will be able to buy.

“We’ve gotten so much demand from people that have tried us at restaurants,” O’Malley said.

Those interested can purchase an annual membership on their website, http://www.brickstreetfarms.com/. Customers will be able to pick up a fresh bag of greens every other week.

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