Skyfarm’s potential reimagined with latest partnership
Following a partnership between Melbourne Skyfarm and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), the rooftop car park’s urban farm has successfully harvested and donated 650 kilograms of produce to OzHarvest.
The decision to grow, harvest and donate on a regular basis to MCEC’s food charity partner has been one that follows on from OzHarvest’s concerns surrounding the rising cost of living.
The donated amount equates to 8840 servings of vegetables with a supermarket value of $40,000.
“With the rising cost of living, so many people cannot afford to buy fresh produce, so a locally grown, regular supply helps put healthy food on the table for families in need,” OzHarvest founder and CEO Ronni Kahn AO said.
“The Melbourne Skyfarm project is sustainability at its best, [and] we are deeply grateful to Melbourne Skyfarm and MCEC for their incredible support.”
The 2000sqm farm, while currently under construction, has been operational for more than six months following the first planting that occurred late last year.
The crops grown so far include lettuce, cauliflower, carrot, beetroot, snow peas, silver beet, rainbow chard, kale, radish, bok choy, chillies, apples and a multitude of herbs.
The success of the sustainably focused farm has been achieved through highly collaborative efforts from those involved.
Among one of the collaborating Melbourne based sustainability companies, alongside The Sustainable Landscape Company and Odonata Foundation, is Biofilta who is responsible for supplying the Foodcube farming modules used on the farm.
“Foodcubes are advanced wicking beds that are designed and manufactured in Melbourne, made from 80 per cent recycled food grade plastic, and are highly water efficient, low tech and accessible for city farmers,” Melbourne Skyfarm director Brendan Condon said.
“They allow any urban space to be rapidly converted into a productive urban farm.”
When completed the Siddeley St car park’s rooftop will have completely transformed from a previously underutilised space into not only a thriving farm but one with sustainable and contemporary dining, education and event spaces.
All of which will only cement the farm as proof of the continual potentials that lie within a bustling city landscape.
“It is wonderful to see this former under-utilised carpark growing significant amounts of vegetables and herbs for charity. Skyfarm helps us reimagine our cities as food producing, nature friendly spaces,” Mr Condon said.
“With the current increases in the cost of fresh food, there is an acute need and ample opportunities to design food abundant neighbourhoods and city spaces.”
“Urban farming will never replace the great work by our farmers, but it can augment food supply in our cities and help us reduce food miles to food metres, and create social contact, exercise and reduce food bills for communities.”
At the beginning of the project works were deemed to go on for 12 months, meaning the completion of the site and its accessibility to the public will hopefully be on track before the end of the year. •