On a cold, rainy night in Brooklyn a crowd gathers in the building that houses Square Roots, a company run by CEO Tobias Peggs, a technology entrepreneur, and Kimbal Musk, who sits on the board of Tesla and SpaceX (both founded by his older brother Elon) and Chipotle. Located in a desolate street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the building is technically a farm. There are ten closed shipping containers in the parking lot.
With a bit of showmanship Peggs opens the door to one of the containers and a purple glow surrounds the crowd. Inside, densely packed vertical rows of red lettuce, basil and mint grow hydroponically through a combination of artificial light and a nutrient-rich solution. Musk and Peggs say they can cultivate three hectares of plants in one container with a technique that could be used by any city in the world.