Rooftops in Paris Turning Green with Organic Farms
If the latest organic rooftop farming trends in Paris are anything to go by, there will soon be no shortage of farmland in the city. The skyline of the town is embellished with beautiful greenery; a result of organic farms. In keeping with conservation and sustainability efforts, Parisians are relocating their farms from the fields to the city to make it greener.
In a recent move that caught many by surprise, RAPT, a metro operator became one of the leading companies hosting farms on their roofs for commercial purposes. Pedestrians walking in the 12th arrondissement around the Place Lachambeaudie are assailed by the sweet and appetizing fragrance of plants which they cannot see.
Unknown to them, the intoxicating fragrances emanate from the tops of the arched and gray office blocks. Two farmers called Theo Manesse, and Michel Disportes are in the process of harvesting several rows of herbs that have been organically grown. Some of the plants mostly cultivated include banana and chocolate flavored mint and basil that are violet covered.
The farm is run by a startup known as Aeromate, and while talking to France 24, one of the company’s founders called Desportes said that presently they harvest every day because the crops grow abundantly. Unconcerned with the traffic and pollution taking place below, ladybugs and bees have a field day buzzing around the plants.
Introduction of Urban Agriculture
The city of Paris has an ambitious plan of converting around 330, 000 sq. or an equivalent of 33 hectares of unused urban spaces for agricultural purposes by 2020. In 2016, the city called for innovative urban projects for agriculture, and in response, the farm was established in July this year. The move is intended to make Paris more sustainable environmentally.
The Lachambeaudie farm does not only grow fresh herbs on its sprawling 450 meters square area, but it also cultivates seasonal vegetables and fruits. At the moment, there are about 5,000 plants such as lettuce, zucchini, peppers and various species of tomatoes. Other types of crops the Aeromate farm intends to grow this coming winter include cabbages, spinach, watercress, Brussels artichoke, and sprouts.
The plants are grown using a hydroponic technique that was employed by the Aztec and Inca Indians to plant crops without any soil by providing them with just water solvents containing mineral nutrients. Customers who have bought the organically produced tomatoes and vegetables say they are of a superior quality.
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