Two urban farmers Roman Gaus and Andreas Graber from Berlin are realizing their dream of a rooftop farm following a successful trial and demonstration with a small mobile aquaponic farm built around a standard shipping container. Each miniature farm produces enough fresh vegetables and fish to feed three people for a year and uses 90% less water than traditional farming as most of the waste water is returned to the system instead of draining off away from the food production area.
Their simple yet effective solution consists a barrel of fresh water fish inside the shipping container and a small greenhouse situated above. The waste products of the fish are the ideal nutrients for the plants which are grown hydroponically using the water the fish live in.
In his excellent presentation, Roman describes the current state of rural agriculture and need for a solution for the growing population with a finite amount of farming land. He discusses the potential for an aquaponics based solution that brings us much closer to a closed loop system by recycling the waste products of fish farming into food for plants. Following the successful trial and demonstration of the single unit box farm, Roman and Andreas have designed and are almost finished building their first rooftop farm in Basel, Switzerland which will produce 5 tonnes of fresh vegetables and 800 kilograms of fish per year; enough to feed 100 people from the otherwise unused roof space of one small building!