Rooftop Farmers Meet-up

The Rooftop Farmers Meet-up was the first part of our international Knowledge Day 2021, organised together with Dakakker. This innovative initiative on top of Schieblock in Rotterdam, has been the shining star of many publications about rooftops in Rotterdam for years. Besides the Dakakker, there were many more rooftop farmers in Europe and further abroad. By bringing them together, we aimed to exchange existing knowledge and inspire anyone with ambitions in rooftop farming. Read the detailed programme of the meet-up below.

Programme

9:30 – Welcome

Short welcome word to the participants of the Knowledge Day, by Léon van Geest, director of Rotterdamse Dakendagen

9:35 – Introduction Rooftop Farmers Meet-up

Introduction by Renée Rooijmans, host of the morning. Renée takes us through the morning and will introduce Wouter Bauman and Emile van Rinsum of the Dakakker.

9:45 – Rooftop Farm Stories

Get inspired by a series of short Rooftop Farm Stories of these international speakers:

Wouter Bauman – Dakakker, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The transition of our food system is taking shape in the layered city as well as on rooftops. Co-organiser DakAkker has been running a 1000m2 rooftop farm on top of the Schieblock building in Rotterdam since 2014. Vegetables, edible flowers and fruits are grown there and bees are kept. DakAkker is the largest open-air rooftop farm in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe, and also has an important educational function.

Sabien Windels – ROOF FOOD, Ghent, Belgium
ROOF FOOD is a herbs, fruits and vegetable rooftop farm based on a middle sized rooftop in Ghent. It previously provided restaurants of products, and recently, it turned into the first community rooftop garden in Belgium. 

Emanuela Saporito – Orti Alti, Torino, Italy 
Orti Alti is a women-led organization transforming unused rooftops in Torino into green spaces of relationship and aggregation where citizens can share food and time.  

Carly Brand – ØsterGro, Copenhagen, Denmark 
ØsterGro is a 600m2 green breathing space for the whole city that contributes to the transition of the food system by providing all things edible to citizens of Copenhagen through harvest and in the restaurant Gro Spiseri.  

Brian McCarthy – Cork Rooftop Farm, Cork, Ireland
Cork Rooftop Farm grew from an idea in lockdown into a passion project on the roof of a business that had to close down due to Covid-19. A rooftop farm that now provides people in Cork City vegetables, leafy greens and herbs.  

Bram Stessel – PAKT, Antwerp, Belgium
PAKT is a rooftop farm on top of a couple old warehouses that started in 2017 with around hundred farmers from the neighborhood and now sells their local high grown food in all of Antwerp. 

Jens de Laet, BIGH farms, Brussels, Belgium
BIGH farms their produce on the large rooftop of a market hall in the heart of Brussels and goes beyond growing on soil with their aquaponic system where fish and plants of all sorts form a new ecosystem. 

Mirjam Slob – Rooftop Rumour, Tilburg, The Netherlands 
Will Rooftop Rumour be the first of many rooftop farms in Tilburg? In search for the right rooftop where their manifest can land and grow a movement that connects agriculture and nature with the urban landscape.

11:00 – Farmers Knowledge

Most rooftop farmers posses valuable knowledge worthy to exchange about growing food in cities and bringing nature to urban environments, which is often one of their main goals. But this is mostly knowledge on a local scale. In this session, we aim to extend our knowledge and learn on a European level. From each other, or to use it as a source of information for aspiring rooftop farmers. What can be interesting topics? And how can we facilitate that knowledge exchange in the future? These are questions that will be discussed during this session.

11:30 – Rooftop Hero award ceremony

The Rooftop Hero is our annual prize that rewards a remarkable rooftop related achievement or initiative of the past year.

11:45 – End of the morning session

 

We continued the Knowledge Day programme with our interactive Lunch Workshops at 12:30 hours. Click here for the schedule.