This month the Irish Wildlife Trust Dublin Branch heard Andrew Douglas (www.urbanfarm.ie) & Paddy O'Kearney (www.citycomposting.ie) chatting about the Urban Farm project. This is Dublin's first urban farm initiative,which attempts to convert a negative space into a tangible benefit for the community. The farm is growing food on a Dublin city center rooftop with indoor aquaponic allotments to enable all season year round growing. With a 400sqm rooftop space and indoor studios, the farm will attempt to grow as much food as possible over the following year.
The farm is run on the principle of CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. How it works is that members contribute to the farm, either financially or through labour, and in return receive a share of the farm's produce. They can choose which way of receiving their share they prefer. This can take the form of collecting the fresh produce weekly, or even having it delivered, or they can call in to pick their own choice and speak to the growers themselves. Members also receive a newsletter and recipes, and can attend workshops and picnics.
The farm is going from strength to strength, with a great demand for its services. The meeting was exceptionally well attended, and Andrew and Paddy were subject to a barrage of interested and engaged (if exhausting!) questions. Andrew and Paddy also talked about their vision of the farm's future, the needs of urban agriculture in Ireland, explaining the farm's growing systems & their methods and inspirations for building Ireland's first roof top urban farm. The crowd were very impressed with their down to earth attitude, mixing business acumen with enthusiasm and idealism.