Monday, December 05, 2011

The ongoing agricultural revolution

At last I am moved by a story to write: German Urban Farms the company's website is here.
The Frisch vom Dach, or Fresh from the Roof project, plans to create a 7,000-square-meter roof garden, complete with a fish farm, to provide Berliners with sustainable, locally-grown food....

The fish will be sold as food and, crucially, their excretions, especially the ammonia excreted through the gills, will be converted into nitrates. That will serve as fertilizer for the plants growing in green houses above the fish tanks. In turn, the plants will purify the water for the fish. The system for sustainable food production is known as "aquaponics."
The first instance of vertical farming, or industrial farming. Bringing the countryside into the city. As the Spiegel article points out, this model is low energy, unlike the more science fictional dreams of vertical farms. It also fits in with the permaculture crowd. That said, it does offer the prospect of advancing the cause of re-wilding (and of driving urbanisation faster).

I'd be interested in how much their prototype container farm manages to produce, since the idea of mass producing and distributing a container/greenhouse strikes me as being an efficient way to spread food production massively.

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