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Urban Farmers - more local than you think

By March 23, 2017 , ,

Many of you who are familiar with the blog know that my motto is eat local and seasonal. I also place a huge emphasis on knowing exactly where my food comes from, who produced it, how was it grown and did it have a good life? 

I was lucky to be invited by Makro to the launch of their collaboration with Urban Farmers in Den Haag. Many of you will be familiar with Makro as a wholesale/cash and carry but they are looking to change that image by working with smaller businesses and initiatives throughout the country. This way they can focus on quality and locality in the products that they sell.

I'm surprised that I hadn't heard about Urban Farmers in The Hague before, I live in Leiden which is only a mere 15 minutes by train and it's the kind of initiative that I'm very interested in. So, who Exactly are Urban Farmers? It is a concept new to the Netherlands, whereby food is grown in an urban setting using modern and sustainable techniques such as aquaponics. It is currently one of the largest urban rooftop farms in Europe. 

Much of the food that we see in supermarkets and even in the market has travelled hundreds, if not thousands of miles to the reach the shelves before we buy them. Most of it will have been pumped full of pesticides and preservatives for longer shelf life and a lot of it will not have, lets be honest, flavour. While Urban Farmers may not focus strictly on seasonal as it is grown in greenhouses, the major focus is on reducing the carbon footprint of your food while supplying sustainable tasty produce.

Urban farmers are based on Televisiestraat in Den Haag, a mere 5 minutes from Holland Spoor station in the old Phillips building. The gardens are based in green houses on the 6th floor and they have a small selection of crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, salads and micro cresses to name a few. 

They also have a fish farm where the fish are raised in small numbers in tanks and the water from the fish is used for the gardens on the roof. A nice symbiotic setting, there is no pesticide or herbicides used, even the packaging that your produce comes in is green too.

Urban Farmers are looking to expand their influence to a wider audience. They currently supply to some local restaurants and also work in combination with local caterers. They also cater to the public, every Friday from 16:00 to 19:00 there is a UF Dak Markt (roof market). You can also avail of tours of the farm and there's even a pick your own tour on Wednesdays; these need to be booked in advance.

As of September last year they started a Fresh Basket initiative whereby you can order online and they are then available at various pick up points in Den Haag. 

To find out more check out their site  www.urbanfarmers.nl
Urban Farmers
UF002 De Schilde
Televisiestraat 2
Den Haag 2525KD

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