Sourced from The Guardian
It’s a warm afternoon in late spring and before us rows of strawberry plants rustle in the breeze as the scent of fragrant herbs wafts across the air. Nearby, a bee buzzes lazily past. Contrary to appearances, however, we are not in an idyllic corner of the countryside but standing on the top of a six-storey building in the heart of the French capital.
Welcome to the future of farming in Paris – where a whole host of rooftop plantations, such as this one on the edge of the Marais, have been springing up of late. Yet this thriving operation is just a drop in the ocean compared to its new sister site. When that one opens, in the spring of 2020, it will be the largest rooftop farm in the world.
Currently under construction in the south-west of the city, this urban oasis will span approximately 14,000 sq metres (150695 sq feet) – also making it the largest urban farm in Europe. With the plan to grow more than 30 different plant species, the site will produce around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables every day in high season. Tended by around 20 gardeners, they will also be using entirely organic methods.
“The goal is to make the farm a globally-recognised model for sustainable production,” says Pascal Hardy, founder of Agripolis, the urban-farming company at the centre of the project. “We’ll be using quality products, grown in rhythm with nature’s cycles, all in the heart of Paris.”
Located on the top of a major exhibition complex currently under redevelopment in the 15th arrondissement, the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the farm will also have its own on-site restaurant and bar with capacity for around 300 people. Run by Paris’s renowned chain of rooftop venues, Le Perchoir, this aerial eatery will offer panoramic views over the capital – and, needless to say, the menu will feature seasonal produce grown on the site.