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City envy: we want a floating dairy farm like Rotterdam

Written by
Megan Carnegie

The closest most Londoners get to urban farming is keeping supermarket basil alive on a windowsill, but over in Rotterdam they’re thinking a lot bigger. Work is underway in the Dutch city’s Merwehaven harbour on the world’s first waterborne dairy farm.

Built on a 1,000-square-metre concrete base, Floating Farm will house 40 freely roaming Montbéliarde cows, feeding off pasture areas and waste products from local restaurants. The lower deck will pasteurise 800 litres of milk a day for sale in the farm shop, with glass walls making the provenance of your latte literally transparent.

A solar-panelled roof will purify rainwater for drinking and fertiliser will be made from the cow manure. A floating chicken farm and vertical greenhouse are next on the list. Could tillage on the Thames be closer than you think?

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