Why should we go to the outskirts to let grow our crops when there is already many available spaces in the city itself? Urban farm project Dublin initiated certain urban agricultural projects by using simple organic techniques. All those actions contribute to rethink agricultural innovation reshaping urban public spaces.
Chocolate factory urban farm became a very known pilot first project accomplished by Andrew Douglas and supported by the Boxty House restaurant in 2013. The project was based on the idea of using rooftops for building urban farms in the city in order to improve quality of life and reactivate community participation. It also demonstrates that an urban farm can be productive, sustainable and innovative.
UrbanFarm’s Thankpotato project mirrors such an urban farm idea by introducing a new innovative way to grow food. But why potatoes? well, potatoes crops provide a high nutrition and are very adaptive to weather changes. Urban farm grown them in up-cycled water cooler bottles and artificial grass off cuts, utilising wasted stream materials to house and grow potato plants. There are 180 different varieties in the collection. The innovation also relays in a system of aquaponics. Volunteers feed fish, which will produce waste, which at the same time will be used as fertiliser for growing vegetables.
But besides bringing agricultural innovation to cities, Urban farm Dublin is also about community participation. A variety of organisations are involved raising awareness on sustainable food and agriculture, training Dublin citizens in glowing their own fruits and vegetables. Workshops are organised to give everyone a better the understanding of ecological cycles and the efficient utilisation of non-renewable resources.
Due to its success at the Chocolate factory, participants (UrbanFarm and Boxty House restaurant) decided to continue developing the idea at the Belvedere College. There, students can grow potatoes, farm fish and cultivate fungi in a glass roofed science laboratory called Growlab. They are taught about sustainability in the city (plant life circles, green technology and sustainable farming practices).