Parisian Agriculture - PhMuseum

Parisian Agriculture

Giovanni Del Brenna

2017 - Ongoing

Paris, Île-de-France, France

In January 2016 Paris' Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, signed with 33 companies the "100 hectares goal" convention.

Soon after, the City Council launched an open call for Urban Agriculture projects, Parisculteurs, to be made in private and city owned spaces. Tens of projects came out of earth and at least other four open calls have been launched, since then.

I had just moved to Paris and the oxymoron “urban agriculture” caught my attention. I had heard of urban farms in the US, Germany, Singapore... but nothing really about Paris. I soon discovered that Paris was far behind and that after the COP 21 its Mayor wanted to reduce the gap rapidly.

For different reasons that go from the social to the economic, but always looking for the sustainable and ecologic, associations, entrepreneurs and start-up are working hard to make it happen.

I started to document it from spring 2017.

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  • Parc de la villette

    The urban Sheperds' Herd crosses the lawnin front of the Géode. Kids are enthousiastic and the sunbathers stair amused.
    Transhumance from the Villette Park to the urban farm of Saint-Denis organized by Enlarge Your Paris, la Métropole du Grand Paris and the Bergers Urbains during the heritage days open to the public.

  • Roof top of the Opéra Bastille.

    After winning the ParisCulteurs call for this site Topager is cultivating the rooftop of the Opéra Bastille. After 3 months of culture they collected 1 ton of vegetables, their objective is to pick up 5 tons per year.

  • Hélène J. of Topager brings up the stairs the first cherry tomatoes harvest of the Opéra Bastille vegetable roof garden.

    After winning the ParisCulteurs call for this site Topager is cultivating the rooftop of the Opéra Bastille. After 3 months of culture they collected 1 ton of vegetables, their objective is to pick up 5 tons per year.

  • Gaël bringing down dried hop from the roof top garden at La Générale.
    La Générale is a artistic, politic and social cooperative based in an old transformer site in the XIe Arrondissement in Paris. They have a vegetable roof garden where they also grow hop. The products are used for workshops and eaten on site.

  • Loïc picking up salads on the Opera Bastille Roof top.

    After winning the ParisCulteurs call for this site Topager is cultivating the rooftop of the Opéra Bastille. After 3 months of culture they collected 1 ton of vegetables, their objective is to pick up 5 tons per year.

  • Cooperative Hop cropping at "Les Grands Voisins". Hans Bodart in the back and Edouard Roussez (president of Houblon de France), Bruno Vitasse of Zone-Ah and director of Zé-bu, And in the front two members of Biocycle.

  • Hens in the RATP urban agriculture Demonstrator.

    In the headquarters of RATP (Paris' public transport company) near Gare de Lyon, they have a urban agriculture demonstrator of 250 m2. Made in collaboration with AgroParisTech and Cultures en Ville it permits to test different technics of urban agriculture, to study different technosoils made with recycled materials, and mesure the impact of urban pollution on air, soil and cultures.

    This demonstrator is an example of circular economy, it has an aquaponics system that combines an aquaculture basin of 80 crayfish with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment, 4 hens are fed with biowaste from the RATP cafeteria. Also people that work at RATP have the opportunity to visit the roof of the building and participate in the farming activities.

    The experience acquired will permit to evaluate what could be done in a bigger scale on other RATP’s existing sites and future projects.

  • Berries plants on the roof of the Opéra Bastille. (In the background we can recognize the Montparnasse Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, The Tour Eiffel, La Défense, The Pompidou Centre and the July Column of Place de La Bastille)
    After winning the ParisCulteurs call for this site Topager is cultivating the rooftop of the Opéra Bastille. After 3 months of culture they collected 1 ton of vegetables, their objective is to pick up 5 tons per year.

  • PCH Floréal- Saint Denis

    Sheep grazing under the cité Floréal (built 1964), Saint-Denis.

    Paris' Northern banlieue was untill the middle of the XIXth century the agricultural heart of Paris, in a few years it became one of the most industrialized areas of Paris and along grow the housing projects to lodge all the working class.
    The "Bergers Urbain" want to reconnect the area with its agricultural past.

  • The Halle Pajol.
    An abandoned SNCF (French railway company) building it was transformed by the architect Françoise-Hélène Jourda and opened in 2013. it is now a "eco-neighborhood". It lodges the first urban photovoltaic power plant of Paris, a youth hostel, shops, a library and also a shared garden in between other spaces.

  • First indoor vegetable garden in a supermarket. It will produce Aromatic plants with the hydroponics technique illuminated by LED that are packaged and sold in house.

    After two years of collaboration, Metro France and infarm have installed 18 large glass gardens that cover a surface of 80m2 from the METRO warehouse in Nanterre for a production of nearly 4 tons per year! A first in Europe!

    Each of these vegetable gardens contains 14 growing trays of about 40 plants, spread over 7 levels, where 13 varieties of aromatic herbs and 4 varieties of micro-plants are grown.

    At first, these are the herbs most requested by the customers that have been selected: chives, basil, coriander, mint, dill or parsley. METRO's will has always been to offer exceptional products to its customers and the offer has been enlarged to rarer varieties and used in cuisine such as Thai basil, lemon basil, confetti coriander, Golden frills mustard, watercress, kale... This selection may be enlarged in the future according to the specific requests of the customers.

  • First indoor vegetable garden in a supermarket. It will produce Aromatic plants with the hydroponics technique illuminated by LED that are packaged and sold in house.

    After two years of collaboration, Metro France and infarm have installed 18 large glass gardens that cover a surface of 80m2 from the METRO warehouse in Nanterre for a production of nearly 4 tons per year! A first in Europe!

    Each of these vegetable gardens contains 14 growing trays of about 40 plants, spread over 7 levels, where 13 varieties of aromatic herbs and 4 varieties of micro-plants are grown.

    At first, these are the herbs most requested by the customers that have been selected: chives, basil, coriander, mint, dill or parsley. METRO's will has always been to offer exceptional products to its customers and the offer has been enlarged to rarer varieties and used in cuisine such as Thai basil, lemon basil, confetti coriander, Golden frills mustard, watercress, kale... This selection may be enlarged in the future according to the specific requests of the customers.

  • Strawberries illuminated by LED lights.
    The start-up Agricool produces in high tech containers (they call them Cooltainers) super fresh and mature strawberries that they sell in the city. They now have 5 cooltainers and produce 7 tons of strawberries a year.

  • PCH
    Lumière - La Courneuve
    Construction 2017

    Sheep grazing in front of the Residence Lumière by Plaine Commune Habitat (built in 2017). These buildings were constructed after the demolition of one of the Robespierre buildings in the plan of urban rehabilitation of the neighborhood. La Courneuve

  • Pleurotes mushrooms growing in La Caverne.
    La Caverne is a bio urban farm located in the underground parking Raymond Queneau in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. After wining the first call for projects of ParisCulteurs La Caverne now produces Shiitake and Pleurotes mushrooms and also endives and micro-shoots. In 15 months they employ 17 people and produce 500 kilos of mushrooms and 2 tons of endives per week.

  • Pleurotes mushrooms growing on recycled coffee grounds at La Boîte à Champignon, Feucherolles, 20 km from Paris.

  • Preparing endives shoots to make them grow in the dark.
    La Caverne is a bio urban farm located in the underground parking Raymond Queneau in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. After wining the first call for projects of ParisCulteurs La Caverne now produces Shiitake and Pleurotes mushrooms and also endives and micro-shoots. In 15 months they employ 17 people and produce 500 kilos of mushrooms and 2 tons of endives per week.

  • Grown endives being separated from their roots.
    La Caverne is a bio urban farm located in the underground parking Raymond Queneau in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. After wining the first call for projects of ParisCulteurs La Caverne now produces Shiitake and Pleurotes mushrooms and also endives and micro-shoots. In 15 months they employ 17 people and produce 500 kilos of mushrooms and 2 tons of endives per week.

  • The Peas & Love urban farm on the Yooma's Hotel roof top in the Grennelle neighborhood in Paris.
    Peas & Love rents cultivated parcels on which you can pick up yourself your season vegetables.


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