Kimbal Musk — Elon’s brother — just opened a shipping container farm compound in New York City

Kimbal Musk (brother of Elon) is trying to change the way we eat by creating what he calls a "real food revolution."

For over a decade, he has run two restaurant chains, The Kitchen and Next Door, which serve dishes made strictly with locally-sourced meat and veggies. In 2011, he started a nonprofit program that has installed "Learning Gardens" in over 300 schools, with the intention of teaching kids about agriculture.

His latest food venture delves into the world of local urban farming.

In early November, Musk and fellow entrepreneur Tobias Peggs launched Square Roots, an urban farming incubator program in Brooklyn, New York. The setup consists of 10 steel shipping container farms where young entrepreneurs work to develop vertical farming startups. Unlike traditional outdoor farms, vertical farms grow soil-free crops indoors and under LED lights.

Six weeks into the 12-month program, just after the entrepreneurs completed their first harvests, Business Insider got a tour of the farms. Take a look below.

They are vertical farms — everything grows inside 320-square-foot steel shipping containers. Each container can produce about 50,000 mini-heads of lettuce per year.


Kimbal Musk has known Peggs, who previously worked on tech startups sold to Walmart and Adobe, for a decade. Before Square Roots, they worked together at The Kitchen, where Peggs served as the "President of Impact" and helped expand the chain to new cities.

When asked how his experience in tech translates to running a vertical farming accelerator, Peggs says the two fields share the same motivation.

“You learn how to execute impossible dreams. This was all just a Powerpoint presentation six months ago,” says Peggs, pointing to the farms behind him.

Two weeks later, she transplants them to the walls. “We should be growing closer to us in cities,” she says.