Want to learn more about farming and enjoy your produce? Then, head to Expo City, which has unveiled its own farm, explore the world of agriculture and relish the fruits of your knowledge. Championing sustainability and the farm-to-table concept, this unique farm provides visitors an opportunity to witness diverse agricultural techniques from close quarters.
According to Matt Brown, chief of sustainability at Expo City, the farm was a result of the organisation’s larger goal. “What we are trying to do is play a part in some of the more global issues like water scarcity and decarbonisation,” he said. “This farm was spawned out of a concept of regenerative agriculture and trying to improve the circularity of Expo City.”
Here is a look into how the farm is organised:
Outdoor organic farm
The farm grows completely organic food for humans, fodder, and forage for animals. Several varieties, such as alfalfa, millet, oats and barley, can be stored and fed to animals. Other varieties offer ground cover and protect the soil from minerals.
Grown in coordination with Emirates Bio Farm, the land has different crops grown in alternate rows as part of bio-intensive agriculture. This creates natural pest control, as the companion plants protect each other.
This farm uses biochar- a special organic, woody waste that is burnt without oxygen to retain carbon. It forms a charcoal-like substance that helps the soil retain moisture and increase agricultural productivity.
Desert and medicinal plants
Desert plants are grown in the farm as they require much less water. This is because they are adapted the arid conditions of the country. Medicinal plants and herbs such as cassia italica and lawsonia inermis are also grown here.
A popular option for farming in small spaces, indoor hydroponic agriculture is done here. Using only water, one kiosk of the vertical hydroponic farm at the Expo City Farm is able to produce 15kgs of food all year round. The water is recirculated to reduce water consumption by up to 95%.
Making water from air
The hydroponic room is linked to a system called Air Joule that can extract water from the air. The technology builds on a material called Metal Organic Frameworks (MOF), which absorbs water from the atmosphere and then squeezes it out. The machine is powered by solar batteries.
Spent coffee grounds from restaurants around the Expo City are utilised to form a germinating ground for mushrooms. Grown in a temperature-controlled enclosure, it grows three different kinds of mushrooms- lion’s mane, oyster and chestnut.
The farm hosts workshops and cooking classes to spread awareness about the plants grown there and educate people on how to use them.
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