Advanced analysis for urban farming
One of the wishes of the Rout Lëns project is to recreate a strong link with nature in the city. This is why an area will be dedicated to Urban Farming.
What is urban farming?
We see it in all the media, urban farming is on the rise. Born in Detroit in the USA, urban farming* can be defined as a set of actions allowing the exploitation of abandoned land to create community vegetable gardens.
In Rout Lëns, its implementation will be entrusted to the “Merci Raymond” collective. The objective here is to create a fertile ecosystem enabling a farmer to feed a neighbourhood in a short circuit approach. This plot of land of about 6,000 m2 to be cultivated will therefore be developed so that it can feed a part of the population with vegetables and fruit. The urban farm also has an educational role with the organisation of workshops and training.
The market garden project aims to be ecological and sustainable. This is why it will use the permaculture technique. This technique aims to set up a resilient and autonomous productive ecosystem by associating several specific living species.
The basis of everything: healthy land
Creating an urban farm on a brownfield site requires certain precautions. The first step is to ensure the quality of the land to guarantee that the food produced is non-toxic.
Is it absolutely certain that the vegetables and fruit produced will be edible and meet the required standards?
This question cannot be taken lightly, which is why we called on the Lingenheld Environnement and Microhumus group of companies. The Lorraine-based company Microhumus, which specialises in soil engineering and phytomanagement, is well acquainted with the problems of iron and steel sites and the agronomic restoration of degraded soil.
The analyses follow one another
In March 2021, Microhumus took several soil samples from the urban farming site. This is an area located in the French part of the site. This area was not polluted during the years of operation as it did not support any buildings, industrial processes or storage. This area was specifically chosen for the relatively unspoilt nature of its land.
– Soil profile showing the recoverable materials at depth. –
All the chances are thus on our side for the project to supply Rout Lëns in a short circuit to succeed quickly.
Mircrohumus is making the mixtures that will allow them to carry out the cultivation trials using a unique technique developed by them.
After a few weeks of storage in the open air on the site, we can already see that the silty materials on the site have developed very well. It is relatively friable and mixing with other materials has been easy.
– Screening and homogenisation of recoverable materials. –
The final results of the agronomic analyses will arrive soon.
The continuation of the non-toxicity study
Microhumus is now continuing with the cultivation trials. Leafy vegetables, root vegetables and fruit vegetables are sown.
– Crop trials on refunctionalized land. –
Agronomists will monitor their growth and analyse the quality of the crops in the laboratory. All toxicity parameters will be studied.
If the analysis of the vegetables is conclusive and there are no signs of pollution, Microhumus will give the green light to “Merci Raymond”.
The urban farming simulation in the French area can then begin!
Feeding a hundred homes
This urban vegetable garden project is not insignificant. It is part of the green revolution underway in the world. Much more than a purely utopian or anecdotal project, in the long run the Rout Lëns farm could feed nearly a hundred households.
But the benefits do not stop there…
Reconnected to the local economy and to the resources of the Eschois territory, citizens of all generations will create together the collaborative spirit of a new resilient, autonomous and sustainable neighbourhood.
*Definition of urban farming by the Merci Raymond collective: urban farming is the integration of edible and productive spaces in the city in different forms: edible landscape, community vegetable gardens, urban farms…