Converting Rooftops into Organic Farms

Converting Rooftops into Organic Farms

We live in an age where despite opportunities and opulence, irony stares right into our faces. Despite working so hard to earn so much, even the richest are forced to eat vegetables grown in drainage water (containing harmful industrial effluents) or laced with harmful systemic hashtag#pesticides (which get absorbed into the skin of the veg) that cannot be washed away.

Urbanization is gobbling up our farmlands so fast that we shall soon reach a point where we will have lots of living spaces but no spaces to grow food.

Gandhi Ji’s dictum of “India resides in its villages” is now being shifted to “India resides in its cities”.

Cities are becoming hotter and the city air becoming more and more toxic. Most large cities are reaching a point when they are becoming “simply un-liveable”.

And yet we get up every morning and go to work thinking…AAL EES WELL!!! (the famous dialogue of the movie – 3 Idiots)

A Mad Dream!

10 years ago, Living Greens Organics embarked on a journey to achieve a “mad dream” – to convert every rooftop in the city into a lush hashtag#greenorganicfarm!

In order to enable individuals (house-owners), institutions with large rooftops (like schools, malls, offices, hospitals, etc), and even the Government to convert their rooftops into lush green organic farms, The Living Greens has created a unique URBAN FARMING PACK, which consists of the following:

  • Portable Farming System – A complete DIY farming system that can be installed on the rooftops and fresh hashtag#organicvegetables can be grown in it using an extremely light-weight organic soil-less medium.
  • Organic Plant Protection Kit – This consists of organic sprays and organic root applications that can be used to protect the veg plants from pests and diseases, without identifying them.
  • Online Support System – A mobile app that not only helps identify a pest or disease affecting the veg plant but also offers organic solutions for controlling them.

Using our Urban Farming pack, any rooftop can be very easily converted into a lush green organic farm.

Creating A Hyperlocal Community of Growers and Consumers

Rooftop Organic Farms shall spawn organic consumers around them leading to the creation of a hyper-local community consisting of growers and consumers. Not only will the consumers consume the fresh organic vegetables from rooftop organic farms but would also sell composted vegetable waste, which is a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, back to the hashtag#rooftoporganicfarms. This creates a CLOSED-LOOP HYPER-LOCAL ORGANIC COMMUNITY which not only grows and consumes fresh vegetables, it recycles back the waste of the vegetables into the rooftop organic farm, as bio-fertilizers, to grow more organic vegetables.

A rooftop organic farm of 1000 sqr ft would grow almost 2000 metric tonnes of fresh vegetables in a year and would utilize about 2000 kg of composted hashtag#kitchenwaste. This 2000 kg of is created from 10,000 kg of raw kitchen waste.

Cooking the Roofs = Cooling the City – Cooling the Planet

These rooftop organic farms shall not only grow fresh and safe organic vegetables (using a fraction of the water as compared to conventional agriculture) but they shall also create a natural green cover on large buildings that guzzle electricity (for cooling).

Besides offering a natural green cover to protect the rooftop from direct exposure to the sweltering sun, the vegetable plants will also do photosynthesis and thus sequester many metric tonnes of CO2. Thus, rooftop organic farms will also act as CARBON SEQUESTRATION SINKS.

A rooftop organic farm of 1000 sqr ft can sequester 3-5 metric tonnes of CO2 in a year.

Since the rooftop organic farms are acting as CO2 sequestration sinks, they shall also generate CARBON CREDITS. Thus the large empty rooftops of buildings in any city can also be converted into CO2 sequestration sinks that will also generate carbon credits.

Generate Employment in Cities

The rooftop organic farms shall also offer skill development and employment generation opportunities to hundreds of rural youth who migrate from villages into cities, for doing menial jobs. Their agricultural background can make them excellent rooftop hashtag#organicfarmers.

Besides growing fresh vegetables on rooftops, these rooftop organic farmers will harvest and deliver fresh vegetables to premium clients (both retail and institutional clients), on a bicycle. Thus, we will have a fresh produce supply chain with ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT!

Besides offering skill development and employment opportunities to unemployed rural youth, rooftop organic farms (with financial support from the government or NGOs) can also offer revenue-generation opportunities for women of the weaker section of society.

Save Government Money on Fresh Supply Chains

By creating such hyper-local fresh produce supply chains, we can save millions of rupees for the government which it invests in creating controlled-temperature fresh produce supply chains. Besides guzzling huge investments of the government, these controlled-temperature fresh produce supply chains also guzzle a lot of energy. In comparison to such highly capital-intensive and energy-intensive fresh produce hashtag#supplychains, rooftop organic farms are highly capital and energy efficient.

Tangible Impact on A City

A city has 2 kinds of rooftops; individual rooftops of houses and large vacant rooftops of commercial buildings like schools, offices, hospitals, colleges, malls etc.

If a city is able to convert the rooftops of 500 commercial buildings (each 1000 sqr ft) and 1000 individual houses (each 300 sqr ft), its impact shall be as follows:

  • Total cultivable area = 20 acres
  • Annual production of fresh organic vegetables = 1500 metric tonnes
  • Annual number of families that can receive fresh vegetables = 5000-6000 families
  • Annual saving of electricity (cooling of buildings) = Rs. 25 crores
  • Annual saving of fuel (due to zero food miles) = Rs. 50 lakhs
  • Annual saving of water (by using drip system on rooftops) = 750 lakhs liters
  • Annual creation of jobs = 5000 jobs
  • Annual sequestration of CO2 = 200 metric tonnes

It’s time to convert our rooftops into hashtag#organicfarms and bring the farm closer to the fork by developing rooftop organic farms.

The world now awaits, with bated breath, for the next big revolution – THE URBAN FARMING REVOLUTION when roofs shall become organic farms and our cities shall become food self-sustainable.

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