At the heart of the largest urban farm in Europe on the roof of the Paris Expo Park

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Cultures a few steps from the ring road. If the Porte de Versailles exhibition center is used to receiving calves, cows and pigs during the unmissable Agricultural Show, a more innovative agricultural concept has been installed on the roof of pavilion 6. However, Looking up will not be enough for you to see the salads, strawberries, tomatoes growing there. Nestled at the far end of the gigantic exhibition park, the largest urban farm in Europe, freshly installed at the beginning of summer, is only visible after a good fifteen minutes walk, an elevator and the crossing of a restaurant…

On the farm, no land. “You have to be as light as possible,” explains Pascal Hardy, founder of Agripolis. On this market gardening “rooftop” which should reach 14,000 m2 by 2022 (compared to 4,500 square meters today), we cultivate using two methods: horizontally, in gutters which are used to produce climbing plants (tomatoes , courgettes or aubergines…): hydroponics, or vertically in hollow tubes, aeroponics. Here, each of the plastic columns houses around fifty strawberries housed in the cells. Every 12 minutes the roots are watered with a mixture of water and nutrients. A completely enclosed system that allows safe cultivation a few meters from the Paris ring road. “There is no danger for the consumer. These techniques are impermeable to pollution: nutrients and water are never in contact with the ambient air, but it is through the roots that pollution infiltrates, including heavy metals ”, specifies the engineer who claims “incredible analyzes”. “Our plants are organic, but we do not have the label, for a simple reason, in France, the specifications do not include soilless crops”.

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