Melbourne Skyfarm: Public Rooftop Farm Sprouting In Melbourne's CBD
Melbourne CBD will soon have an urban rooftop oasis that will include a working farm, orchard, and beehives, a sustainable low-waste café, event spaces, a children’s playground and an environmental sustainability education centre - all overlooking the Yarra River.
A 2 000 m² rooftop car park in Melbourne’s Seafarer’s precinct will be transformed into a farm, low waste restaurant, and environmental educational centre. The site will inspire and teach visitors how to grow fresh produce and share emerging solutions to environmental challenges through tours and immersive education, while bringing nature into the city, which the public can enjoy and which will help cool the urban environment.
Initiated by Melbourne-based nature regeneration and protection group Odonata, urban farming company Biofilta and The Sustainable Landscape Company and supported by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund, Melbourne Skyfarm should be open in late 2020.
“Melbourne Skyfarm … is a bold and exciting step towards a future where nature in cities is the norm. A world where businesses seek to not only minimise their impact on the environment, but actually seek to generate good. It is a demonstration of how nature, people and our economy can thrive together and provides a much-needed platform in the inner-city for interaction, education and story-telling about the wonders of nature,” Melbourne Skyfarm director and Odonata chair, Nigel Sharp, notes.
Melbourne Skyfarm director, Brendan Condon adds: “Melbourne Skyfarm aims to be a wonderful platform to showcase what is possible for sustainable cities embracing the future.
Test Farm Passing The Test
Earlier in the year we visited the test farm in Port Melbourne, where in excess of 300 kg of fresh herbs and vegetables have been produced in less than 6 months using the Biofilta urban farming system, the same wicking bed farming system that will be used at Melbourne Skyfarm.
Most of this produce has been being donated to food charity, OzHarvest.
More Than Just Another Development
We also got to visit the rooftop itself, where the development was announced today. The views are pretty special, as are the lengths those behind it are going to to make it as sustainable and low waste as possible, as well as an example that can be replicated. Speaking to them, it is clear that the hearts of those behind this development’s are truly in the right place. They are walking the talk and the development, the first of its kind in Australia, will help so many others - from other developments to individuals - to minimise their impact too.
The best practices in food production from around Australia, including sustainable and regenerative farming, ethical food production, low-waste hospitality techniques, and native ingredient use, will be championed by Melbourne Skyfarm’s hospitality venues.
Those involved are genuinely trying to do good and are supporting others who are doing good. Their aim is to spread the word about and a culture of urban farming and sustainability, which we are totally here for and we personally can’t wait for it to open!