Shreveport, LA Tests Controlled Environment Agriculture

Shreveport Green’s Urban Farm in Shreveport, LA recently announced its first harvest which will be distributed through the Shreveport Green Mobile Market to the Choice Neighborhood recipients.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting and practical program,” said Donna Curtis, Shreveport Green Executive Director. “We hope to eventually harvest 90 pounds of produce every three weeks, giving our Mobile Market a dependable source of food. This hydroponic container nicely complements the 22 additional community gardens we have around the city.”

The Urban Farm was created through a partnership between Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), Shreveport Green, and the Electric Power Research Institute ( EPRI). The project is part of a two-year EPRI study designed to examine opportunities surrounding indoor food production in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) farms. For the study, researchers at EPRI will gather data through automated monitoring regarding energy loads, water use, and other factors from different facilities and locations. 

The Urban Farm near downtown Shreveport was constructed from a custom shipping container and equipped with LED lighting, a high efficiency HVAC system, recirculating water pumps, a dehumidification system, and sensors. The produce is monitored via remote sensor technology, allowing farmers to remotely control the lighting, temperature, and watering conditions. CEA farms like this allow for the year-round local production of crops regardless of outdoor conditions. 

“Indoor agriculture is a rapidly growing and evolving industry across the United States. We’re seeing innovative designs, technologies, and energy applications that are helping CEA farms not only achieve year-round crop cultivation but also contribute to areas of community need like energy and water efficiency goals,” said Frank Sharp, Principal Technical Leader at EPRI. “We’re thrilled to be working with SWEPCO and Shreveport Green to explore potential opportunities from this CEA farm to benefit the Shreveport community.”