That's what 118 primary school pupils from Uusimaa, Finland, experienced when they visited the "Urban Farm Lab" in their region. In May 2022, the children took a unique look behind the scenes of this research facility. From growing mushrooms to tasting sprouts: the visits were full of adventures and insights.
The Urban Farm Lab experiments with new, participatory, and sustainable ways of urban farming – notably via the EU-supported "CircularHoodFood" project.
The project examines the current state of urban food production and biowaste recycling in cities and conducts product development and marketing pilots with core operators and start-ups in the field, as well as with housing companies, for example. Concrete pilots may include, for example, prototypes of indoor farming or innovations to facilitate the sorting of biowaste. In addition, the project encourages housing companies and restaurants to reduce food waste, sort biowaste, and increase food appreciation through communication and advice.
The pilots carried out in the project are assessed from the perspective of impact, sustainability, and permanence. Based on the assessment, practical guidelines on the benefits and implementation of urban food production solutions will be prepared for housing companies, for example. The housing company and block-level space needs required by the new solutions, as well as related permit practices, will also be investigated. This allows them to be better taken into account in sustainable area planning and zoning.
Thanks to the "EU in my school" initiative, pupils now get to know this innovative research and learn how food can be produced in their city.
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