Picture a future where your milk and yogurt come from a farm floating in your local harbor. That’s exactly what the company Beladon aims to do, and they have support from the urban agriculture group From Your Own Town (Uit Je Eigen Stad) and dairy organization Courage. Their Floating Farm would house up to 40 cows who are expected to produce over 260 gallons of milk each day.
The innovative floating farm would function through a closed-loop system. Cows would live on the top floor, where a soft “membrane” floor would allow urine to soak through. On the floor below, purified water from the urine would help grow grass, alfalfa, and red clover that would then be used to feed the cows. The lower floor would also house a dairy, where milk would be turned into dairy products for sale.
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Cow manure, collected via machine, would be utilized onsite or sent to another farm close by. Cows living on Floating Farm would be free to amble between stalls and milking stations, and while the whole idea does sound kind of strange to animal lovers like us, the cows will be able to stroll across ramps to pasture on land. Floating Farm would be constructed with concrete and galvanized steel and solar panels would provide some of the farm’s energy. The project is expected to cost about 2.5 million Euros, or about $2.7 million.
From Your Own Town co-founder Johan Bosman told The Guardian, “The world will grow, and more and more people will live in delta cities. Expanding cities need unbuilt areas and green space for housing purposes, so there’s less space for traditional food production. The logical consequence is that we will look to the water to produce some of the fresh food.”
The first Floating Farm could be based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. There, the groups behind Floating Farm are talking with the Rotterdam municipal council and harbor organization to plan out details like how to deal with the inevitable smells. Deputy major Adriaan Visser has shown some support; he said the idea fits with Rotterdam’s “drive for innovative activity.”
Via The Guardian
Images via Beladon and Floating Farm