Next year, you will be able to see Montbéliarde cows, a French breed of cow, grazing in the Merwehaven harbour in Rotterdam. Two farmers, Albert Boersen and Myrthe Brabander, are set to become the faces of Floating Farm.
By: Mina Solanki
Floating Dutch dairy farm
Floating Farm will be made from a concrete base and will measure around 1.000 square metres. The roof will be fitted with solar panels and a rainwater collection system.
The farm will be built in levels; the lower level will house the factories that will process the raw milk. Cow urine and manure will be collected via the floor membrane and robots before being processed.
The manure will be used as fertiliser and with the help of LED-technology will grow high-quality feed for the cows themselves. Fertiliser pellets will also be made from the cow manure and sold locally.
The rainwater, collected from the roof, will be purified in a factory on the same level as the other factories.
This level will also feature a space for visitors who want to learn more about the farm and a shop.
On the second level of the farm, the cows will be able to roam in the garden area. Additionally, the cows can venture outside to the pasture area in the quay. The second level contains food silos, a milking robot and a robot which will automatically distribute cattle feed.
The cows will be given feed grown on board the floating farm, but also waste products from the food industry in Rotterdam. In addition to this, the cows will also be provided with hay.
This level will include a lookout area for visitors as well.
Dutch dairy production up close
The project is a collaboration between Uit Je Eigen Stad, the national leader in city farming, Courage, the innovation institute of the Dutch Agriculture and Dairy sector and Beladon, a property development company specialised in floating buildings.
Boersen, one of the faces of the project, wants to create awareness for citizens regarding where their food comes from, but also amongst farmers as to where their products end up.
Floating Farm aims to produce 800 litres of milk a day, which will be pasteurised and sold as milk and yoghurt. In the future, cheese will be added to the available products.
Floating Farm costs
Floating Farm is expected to cost more than two million euros and is financed by private backers.
Right now, the information centre for the farm has already been built and the grass for the pasture in the quay has been sown. At the end of this year, construction is anticipated on the site.