Is Paris going to become the largest vegetable garden in France?

A vegetable garden on the roof of a Parisian institution: the Opéra Bastille! On 2500m² of roofs, an agro-ecological vegetable garden is set up, with more than 1,000m² of vegetable beds and a hop farm to produce beer. The objective? To produce about a hundred baskets for the Opera staff and the local residents, as well as to supply the nearby restaurants. A new project developed by The Growers of the Paris City Hall, which wants to green 100 hectares of buildings in the capital by 2020. The challenge seems to be well underway!
Paris is going to become the largest urban vegetable garden in France? Thanks to various innovative techniques such as aquaponics, hydroponics and permaculture, it is planned to harvest 500 tons of fruit, vegetables and mushrooms, more than 8,000 litres of beer, 4,200 litres of plant fertilizer and 95 kilos of honey every year.
Between now and 2020, the City of Paris, with its project ParisculteursThe aim is to plant 100 hectares of buildings, a third of which will be used for urban agriculture, and to create 75 sites in the capital. This year there are two new developments: two co-ownerships will participate - a rue d'Alésia (14th) and a rue de Paradis (10th) - as well as two towns in the close suburbs, Pantin and Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) and new partners such as AP-HP, which will make available the 4,400m² of terraces at the Robert-Debré hospital, and the university on rue de Tolbiac (13th).
For Urban-farmersthere's Galeries Lafayette and the BHV where the startup... Under the strawberries manages two vegetable farms, one on the roof of Galeries Lafayette (9e arrondissement), the other one at the top of the BHV Marais (4e borough) - where 1,500 m² of vertical permaculture grows. The company markets processed products under the brand name Farm House : honey candies, strawberry nougat, homemade beer...
Other address: Le Bon Marché (7e rounding). On the heights of the LVMH group's department store, the company Topager grows strawberries, cucumbers, fennels, organic edible flowers... that make the employees of Le Bon Marché happy.
Not forgetting the Yooma Hotel (15th arrondissement) which has just opened its 250 individual plots to Parisians since 1 May, fitted out by Peas&Love, the new generation of urban farms. 

READ IN UP' : From Fork to Fork: New Urban Vegetable Gardens Set Up in Paris

Moreover, Peas&Love is installing a 100m2 ephemeral vegetable farm, which can be visited free of charge, by transforming an aerial car park into a gigantic 3500 m2 garden, the largest rooftop in Paris, the Hanging Gardenfacing 40 rue d'Oradour sur Glane Paris 15thfrom June 14 to September 2. An extra summer breath welcome! To know more about it:
There is also a vegetable garden on the roof terrace of the RATP medical centre, " Lachambeaudie Farm " (12e borough), inaugurated on July 11, 2017, where zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, edible flowers and herbs grow thanks to the startup Aeromat which has installed 450 m2 of hydroponic crops reserved for RATP employees.
Lachambeaudie Farm 
By 2020, RATP aims to green 4 hectares of rooftops, one third of which will be dedicated to urban agriculture. Several sites have already been identified, such as the Jourdan site in the 14th arrondissement, with a 700 square metre project under study, and the Vaugirard site in the 15th arrondissement, with more than 2,000 square metres spread over several lots.
A a giant urban farm of 7,000 m2The project called "Mushroof" will soon see the light of day on the rooftop terrace of the Chapelle International logistics hotel, a former railway site that will become a new district (18e arrondissement), managed by the startup Cultivate which will grow vegetables and herbs in hydroponics, which will then be distributed in Franprix stores, a partner in the project.
Project "Mushroof"
In the same district, the La Poste sorting centre on Boulevard de la Chapelle with 900 m2 of roof, transformed into an urban farm by the company. Seed factor.
In April, an urban farm also moved into the basements of the capital. It is The Cave, the first organic underground farm in the capital, located in a car park, under a 300-unit social housing block in a derelict location. 3,500 m² will produce 150 tons of endives and 40 tons of mushrooms each year using organic farming methods, which will then be marketed in the district by the young company. CycloponicsThis is particularly true at the "Bonne tambouille" market in Place Pierre Mac Orlan. It is even possible to visit the tasting sessions!
Other places are waiting to be cultivated: in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the Panthéon-Sorbonne University offers nearly 1000 m2 of roof space to urban gardeners ... with a breathtaking view of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Paris left bank. The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie makes 1 hectare of its site available to Parisian gardeners. Under the lawns of the Parc Monceau in the 8e A former metro training centre is also available in the borough. 
Another site, this time reserved for aquaponics: the Réservoir de Grenelle site located in the 15th arrondissement will receive a project called "Aquaponie". Green'Elle It will allow the production of freshwater vegetables and fish. Aquaponic structures will be installed in the ponds. Each year, 30 tonnes of fruit and vegetables will be grown on 1,500 m² of above-ground market gardening and 3 tonnes of fish (perch and carp) on 400 m² of aquaculture. The sale will be able to take place at the Rue de la Convention market, via subscription baskets for members of the local residents' association, via a web market and at local restaurants.


"La Brize de la Bastille."

The Bastille Opera House will soon have a vegetable garden and a hop farm on its roof, a project called "The Bastille Opera House". "La Brize de la Bastille.". The Opera House will host 2,500 m² of plantations on four terraces. Topagera company specialising in the creation of edible landscapes, has teamed up with a waterproofing system, Shaft Sealinga structure of insertion (Spaces) and a brewer, Crazy loveto create a market garden farm for fruits, vegetables and edible flowers, as well as a hop farm. A microbrewery will be installed in a technical room under the roofs to make beer on the site. The farm plans to produce 5,580 kilos per year of herbs, berries, young shoots and vegetables, as well as 500 kilos of hops.
Work in progress on the roofs of the Opéra Bastille
As Frédéric Madre, co-founder of the company, explains Topageron the parisculteurs, "Our project consists of two parts, firstly market gardening in agro-ecology, with more than 1,000 m2 of vegetable beds, and secondly hop plantations to produce beer. These have already started, over 75 metres long, in the Rue de Lyon: we have stretched ropes that go down to the pavement 7 metres below, and are attached to bins. The hops are already climbing up, but for the first lettuce or tomato seedlings on top of the roof, we'll have to wait until September. »
The objective is "It is also intended to produce around 100 baskets for the Opera staff and the local residents, as well as to supply the nearby restaurants. As for the micro-brewery part, it will be installed under its roofs, in order to brew a local beer that will be distributed both in the baskets for the employees and in the refreshment bar. »
La Brize de la Bastille" project on the roofs of the Bastille Opera House

The Farmers' Initiative

Sandrine Morey, Managing Director of SEMAPA (Société d'étude, de maitrise d'ouvrage et d'aménagement de la ville de Paris) and Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of green spaces, nature in the city, biodiversity, urban agriculture and funeral affairs, signed the "Objective 100 hectares" charter in March. This follows the call for projects "Parisculteurs", launched by the City of Paris, and commits all the city's partners to green the facades, walls and roofs of buildings, in order to reach, by 2020, a surface area of 100 hectares of plantations in the capital, one third of which will be devoted to urban agriculture.
"Thus, with "Parisculteurs" we want to promote agriculture geared towards local consumers and the short-distance processing of Ile-de-France products. As a showcase for gastronomy and the quality of French products, Paris has many assets to build this innovative policy and to invent new reciprocity between urban and rural people and new links with Ile-de-France farmers". Explains Penelope Komites.
With this charter, the City of Paris wishes to set up a new urban model where the place of nature will be reinforced. In particular, it wants to promote an environmentally friendly greening of the built environment, contributing to Parisian biodiversity and water management, as well as a multifunctional urban agriculture fully integrated into the local short circuits alongside Ile-de-France farmers. Indeed, for the City of Paris, "greening and cultivating the city are important assets and challenges" that provide "environmental, economic and social benefits". To achieve this objective of 100 hectares of green facades and roofs, the municipality will rely on new construction, as well as the renovation of existing housing and municipal facilities.
Knowing that food travels 660 km before arriving on the plates of Parisians, the municipality wants to reduce the distance by supplying, in particular, the maximum number of collective restaurants in the city with local products. It wants to increase the share of sustainable food in the 1,300 or so collective catering establishments to 50% by 2020.
In addition, it wishes to develop short circuits despite the presence of local producers to the tune of 10% on the Paris markets. 
An ambitious urban policy that is becoming a necessity because, by 2050, it will be necessary to feed more than 9 million people, including 70% in the city.

Photo of the Vegetable Gardens, Quai d'Auteuil (now Quai Louis Blériot), in front of the Grenelle Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, early 1900 © Musée Albert-Kahn

Remember that in the 19th century, a hundred or so Parisian market gardeners fed all of Paris! 6 % of the surface area of the capital intra-muros, i.e. approximately 600 hectares, was devoted to market gardening, with plots of land averaging 4,000 m² and one worker for every 1,000 m².
This is the story of a recently digitized 1844 book entitled : "the market gardening of Paris",  that predicts the ongoing transition from yesterday's farmers to today's pioneers.

Why not enjoy unlimited reading of UP'? Subscribe from €1.90 per week.

Anything to add? Say it as a comment.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Previous article

Pesticides: Farmers are trying to do without them by opening up new fronts.

Next article

Food: towards a new "organic, local and fair trade" label?

Latest articles in Food Security and Agrostrategies



Already registered? I'm connecting

Inscrivez-vous et lisez three articles for free. Recevez aussi notre newsletter pour être informé des dernières infos publiées.

→ Register for free to continue reading.



You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.