London’s New Idea on Urban Agriculture
Paul Smythe is the co-founder and engineer of Farm:shop and believes that people should be reconnected with the food that they eat. There is a separation between living in the city and knowing where and from what the food is taken. This has spawned the urban agriculture movement. The Victorian shop in the Cockney part of London has a rooftop filled with grazing chickens but that is just the start. When you go inside you will see Talapia filled fish tanks, fruit and flowers in bloom in the polytunnel greenhouse and mushrooms growing in the basement. There are rows and rows of salad leaves and herbs growing from the ‘shelves’ that are hydroponic troughs. The inside of the shop appears more akin to a laboratory than your local garden center. In lieu of sunshine, low energy light strips encourage the vegetable growth and if you looked over you would see a large cluster of petri dishes that is actually the cabbage patch.
The Farm:shop is another of the continuing efforts around the globe that are expanding urban living and bringing farming into the town and to the people. Urban agriculture has had a slow start, but there are more and more communities that are researching and adding areas totally devoted to growing food. In many cities the rooftops are covered with urban gardens and research as well as investment is being made to make these farms totally sustainable with zero waste. The need is becoming greater every year as reported in 2008, the food industry is responsible for around thirty percent of the world’s carbon emissions.
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