Plants in the Sky

The urban sprawls of the world have taken over good chunks of the earth, leaving little green to be found within these cities. However, Paris has taken a measure to bring the greenery back into the city. RATP, which is a metro operator located in Place Lachambeaudie in the 12th arrondissement (a middle class district east of Paris), has become one of the first companies to place a commercial farm on top of its roof.

According to France 24, the project was crafted in 2016 when the City of Paris called for a collection of urban agricultural projects to be completed in order to make Paris more environmentally sustainable. Paris hopes to have converted 33 hectares (330,000 meters) of unused city space into agriculture by the year 2020.

The farm, dubbed Lachambeaudie farm, currently houses around 5,000 plants. It mainly focuses on growing herbs, but it also houses seasonal fruits and vegetables. Their selection includes tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and lettuce. This winter, plans are in place to plant new additions, such as watercress, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and artichoke. All of the plants are grown hydroponically, which is a planting method developed by the Inca and Axtec Indians. It involves the plants being placed in mineral nutrient solutions mixed with water solvent instead of soil.

RATP's decision to take on this urban farm is a part of its mission to help Paris to become a more sustainable city. The company plans to convert more of its rooftops into urban farms by the projected date of 2020.

Presently, Aéromate is planning to set up more urban farms with other companies and hoping for similar success. The company has also started doing business with local restaurants and bars, and plans to harvest up to 31 tons of herbs, fruits, and vegetables per year.

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