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Organic Farming Thrives in Expo City Dubai, Cultivating Sustainable Living

Expo City's farm embodies sustainability with organic practices, hydroponics, and innovative technologies, fostering biodiversity and water efficiency while educating visitors.

Shivangi Rai
The farm grows completely organic food for humans, fodder, and forage for animals. (Photo: Unsplash)
The farm grows completely organic food for humans, fodder, and forage for animals. (Photo: Unsplash)

At Expo City, a pioneering initiative in sustainability and the farm-to-table movement has taken root, offering visitors a firsthand experience of diverse agricultural techniques.

Spearheaded by Matt Brown, the Chief of Sustainability at Expo City, the farm aligns with the organization's broader mission to address global challenges such as water scarcity and decarbonization.

Organic Farm

This outdoor farm is a testament to regenerative agriculture, producing entirely organic food for human consumption and serving as a source of fodder and forage for animals. With an array of crops like alfalfa, millet, oats, and barley, the farm ensures a sustainable supply that can be stored and utilized for both animals and soil enrichment.

Bio-Intensive Agriculture

Collaborating with Emirates Bio Farm, the land employs bio-intensive agriculture, strategically planting different crops in alternate rows. This method not only enhances agricultural productivity but also acts as a natural pest control mechanism, with companion plants shielding each other.

Biochar

In a bid to enhance soil health, the farm incorporates biochar—a special organic material derived from burning woody waste without oxygen. This produces a charcoal-like substance that aids in moisture retention, contributing to increased agricultural productivity.

Desert and Medicinal Plants

Embracing the arid conditions of the region, the farm cultivates desert plants, requiring minimal water for sustenance. Alongside these hardy varieties, medicinal plants and herbs like cassia italica and lawsonia inermis thrive, showcasing the farm's commitment to biodiversity.

Hydroponics

In the pursuit of efficient farming in limited spaces, the farm embraces indoor hydroponic agriculture. Utilizing water as the sole medium, a vertical hydroponic farm within Expo City produces an impressive 15kgs of food annually. Notably, water consumption is curtailed by up to 95% through the innovative recirculation system.

Water from Thin Air

The hydroponic facility is equipped with Air Joule, a groundbreaking system capable of extracting water from the atmosphere. This technology relies on Metal Organic Frameworks (MOF) to absorb and release water. Impressively, the system operates on solar batteries, aligning with Expo City's commitment to sustainable practices.

Mushroom Farm

Harnessing spent coffee grounds from local restaurants, the farm establishes a fertile ground for growing various mushrooms. Within a controlled environment, including temperature regulation, the farm cultivates three distinct varieties—lion’s mane, oyster, and chestnut.

Workshop Area

Beyond cultivation, the farm serves as an educational hub, hosting workshops and cooking classes. These sessions aim to raise awareness about the diverse plant life on the premises and educate participants on practical uses.

Expo City's innovative farm stands as a beacon of sustainable agriculture, harmonizing traditional practices with cutting-edge technologies to address global challenges and foster a connection between consumers and the source of their food.

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