Urban farming at scale:

Join us today in Europe's largest urban farm

Urban farming isn’t a new phenomenon. Everyone can do it. But doing it at scale, efficiently and sustainably, is something else. Join us today in Europe’s largest urban farm, UrbanFarmers.

The sun shines through the greenhouse frames on the rooftop of this former Philips office in The Hague. Even our guide takes the opportunity to grab his phone and take a picture of the effect that the sunlight has on all the green stuff.

the hague urban farmers farming martijn zegwaard
Photo by Martijn Zegwaard

The building was originally constructed as a factory office building. In 2015, it went up for renovation and green implantation. The biggest rooftop farm in Europe opened in the beginning of 2016 with great festivity. Today, it’s a production facility for the production of greens, fish, and knowledge. Zooming in: we’re here in a farm that produces 45 tons of veggies and 19 tons of fish per year.

“We completely stripped down the roots of this strict office interior architecture and renovated it. As a result it’s now an organic living building which adds value to a city and the mouths of people” – Paul Jeannet, farmer at UrbanFarmers

mark durno giving a tour through urban farming the hague

 

The goal is to create a full-grown automated ecosystem, which can be run by just a few farmers. Urban farming is wildly more efficient than ‘normal farming’. You just have less muscle and more brain work to do, says Paul Jeannet, one of the farmers.

The ecosystem is built around an aquaponics system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

Urban farming is a way to monetize empty spaces

In changing cities and societies, buildings last longer than the ways in which people work and operate. This calls for a change of mindset. Therefore new purposes for buildings and spaces are needed.

urban farming mark durno the hague
Their mantra: Real freshness means food is grown where it’s eaten

Visit to taste the future

If you’re struck by the story, book a tour and find more information on their blog. Additionally, they are looking for people to work with to increase efficiency, not only in the farm but especially in the learning experience.