Stadsbruk is a new way of farming/growing in cities. Sweden’s Innovation agency Vinnova has awarded the project 9.5 MSEK (1M€) to create commercially viable agriculture in an urban environment.
The project was created in collaboration with the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU Alnarp), the city of Malmö and Xenofelia. Vinnova has previously approved project funding for a pre-study which was conducted in 2013. In the larger continuation project that started in May 2014, Xenofelia, SLU and Malmö are leading the work, as well as a number of additional partners; the municipalities of Växjö, Kristianstad and Gothenburg, Hushållningssällskapet, Livsmedelsakademin, and the Jewish pre-school in Malmö
“We need to find new constructive solutions for the social challenges of the future. Urban farming has fantastic social effects, we want to increase the scale of urban farming and test new crops and cultivation methods”, says work package leader Anders Rasmussen from SLU Alnarp.
In Malmö we are creating test beds and plots where the project will, during the three growing seasons of the project, engage growers with the goal of developing models for selling their produce. Business development is being led by Xenofelia, who have, amongst other things, created “Spices from Rosengård” (Kryddor från Rosengård).
“We will be helping growers find customers for their products, work with marketing and create new types of economic models”, says Lena Friblick, CEO of Xenofelia.
In Ögårdspark in Rosengård growers have already starting farming and several other sites in Malmö are currently being prepared for more plots in the future.
Who are the urban farmers?
Stadsbruk have primarily targeted those who have or want to run their own business and develop urban farming. Some urban farmers have their own business plan, brand/name and customers. Some of the urban farmers will collaborate under the brand Stadsbruk. Everyone is welcome! During 2015 we will investigate the possibility of starting training courses, as well as rehabilitation and work experience schemes.
Stadsbruk has the possibility to farm a total of 16 hectares in Malmö. The project ends in August 2016, after that the urban farming will continue in a commercial manner. The urban farmers will be able to receive support during the project in the form of cultivation advice, marketing, and coaching in business development etc. The urban farmers pay a fee for renting the land that covers the cost of water, fencing, tool storage facilities and toilets. The smallest plot available for rent is 400 m2 and there are plots all over Malmö.
The principles of organic agriculture will be followed on all plots in Stadsbruk. The goal is organic certification. This means that the urban farmer must follow the principles of organic agriculture. Stadsbruk supports this with advice, support and training. Urban farmers who want to get involved can apply via the website, and attend an urban farmer meeting where we can answer questions.
Products from stadsbruk vary from vegetables to flowers to hops. You will be able to buy their products from the local urban farmers market (Stadens skafferi), via vegetable box schemes, and there are plans to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture scheme). Stadsbruk will also be selling their fresh vegetables to local restaurants and cafés.