Foreshortening the Trail of Healthy Living

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My vegetables from my Rooftop

The Concept of Farming Practices

The original context of the word was a landowner leasing out his land to be cultivated by tenants.  Different types of farming practices have been adopted by people that suit their space and fulfill their needs. Depending on the nature of the crop, seeds are procured and the soil is prepared. The preparation took a long time then and so does now and the harvest is troubled often by the unpredictability of the monsoons. The crop harvested comes to the market and reaches the consumers. But there is a lot of gap between the farmer and the actual devourer. A lot of hustle goes in the process of transportation. The specialty fruits of a particular region reach its demander who might be far away from the farm and such inter-city and inter-state chain of food import effects its flavor quotient. For instance, many fruits are picked off the trees early so that upon delivery, it is received ripened. When ripening isn’t achieved, it is chemically induced.

What is Rooftop Farming?

Rooftop Farming is a systematic method of food production that synergizes sunlight abundance with empty roofs. The rooftops of a buildings are converted into green spaces to grow simple vegetables and fruits with the help of steady equipment for controlled irrigation creating suitable set up for them to ease quick consumption by the potential consumer. It is being widely looked out for by the urban dwellers as an alternative to expensive and ‘unhealthy’ market supplies.

Rooftop with Organic vegetables growing on it

Why Rooftop Farming?

With readily available fresh vegetables, one has an easy access to organically grown vegetables. Longer refrigeration is unnecessary with a continuous flow of fresh food.  To fetch raw materials for preparing the food, the longest it climbs down is from the roof to the kitchen. It doesn’t have to come from a faraway station. This reduces the cost of the vegetables strikingly. In addition to this, the consumer would have control over the deciding the shelf life of the food. The terrain doesn’t impact the produce but only the weather conditions. The set up created on rooftops ensures controllable sunlight exposure, support system for plants, uniform and timely irrigation (added natural fertilizer), proper seedling culture and a well-drained soil. Nearing harvest, the dispatch arrangements are made for the consumers or a good yield lands in the kitchen. A cumbersome supply chain is thus, reduced to a simple pick up. The practice also fosters ‘space utility’. Innumerable empty and lifeless roofs can be utilized for growing fresh produce for oneself.

Understanding the Scope-How it Began

Creating a ‘mini-farmhouse’ is fun and productive. The vacant rooftops are bountiful of sunlight. The amateur producer has to evaluate the exposure of sunlight the place gets throughout the day to plan the placement of particular crops and whether some would require a green shade. No bulky pots/containers are essential. An unswerving set of green grow bags and irrigation system are enough to undertake the venture. This assists in creating the shortest supply chain as the producer and the consumer are at one place. An undemanding procurement of seeds and readily available guides can ease the production of salad crops like lettuce, cabbage, tomato or other greens like spinach, mint, kale, coriander, arugula along with legumes, roots and gourds in this setting.

General Supply Chain of a Produce vs. Rooftop Farming

The Fruit and Vegetable sector has grown substantially both in volume and in variety of outputs traded globally. The system has to ensure that the consumer gets the produce in time. There are many factors involved in supply chain management of which flow is one of the most important factors. Perish-ability is always a concern in the sector and a deciding factor of the cost, packaging and transportation modes. What we lack here is flexibility to cater to variety of specific (unscheduled/irregular) demands. A substandard system of supply and packaging leads to massive wastage and periodic shortages. Production clusters are not integrated properly for distribution with an inefficient chain and it incurs huge losses. With unorganized distributors, it is impaired even further.

The Shortening

In addition to this, there is inclusivity of various stakeholders in the marketing channels who work independently and erode the efficiency of marketed harvest whereas a Producer-Consumer channel secures reduced consumer price, promotion of food safety practices and induce demand-driven production.

A responsive supply model facilitates more flexible marketing even with less commodity movement. A business can indulge in procurement and distribution of the raw materials or the producer can himself ship his produce to buyer. With rooftop farming, the chain is substantially worked out for specific client needs and it also has the potential to evolve into a continuous flow model. It offers more transparency, timely delivery and increase in sales. It synthesizes well with trendy/season-oriented foods. The issue of integration and warehousing is easily avoided. The practice appreciably supports a form of primary subsistence with simple vegetables.

RoofTop Farm

It is very important to note that fresh and inexpensive food is fancied by everyone. The vegetables are essential for the vitamin and mineral requirement by the body and that is why it is supplemented with bread or meat. Rooftop Farming isn’t as strenuous of a practice as it may sound. The setup and support system are assisted by the hardware supplier. An investment so fruitful that the consumer would hop on to buy your products.

Material Planning —–>  Procurement ———–> Distribution and Transportation

Instead of:

Material Planning ———–> Procurement and Integration ————–>   Warehousing & Fulfillment —————-> Distribution and Transportation

Choosing rooftop as a green expanse would cater to the objective of bringing the consumers closer to the ground and increasing the resource availability in the area. Farmers’ vegetable markets are the shortest food supply chain in prevalence. Even shorter, when resources are distributed through rooftop business. It can also help us connect with nature better. A laudable utility of rooftop farming is that it adds to the beauty of the infrastructure and suppresses the formidable heat that is trapped in the floors closer to the roofs. Converting a fallow space into a farming system also contributes to reduction in CO2 emissions and it can utilize the rainwater in best ways. The greenery provides cooler shade and fresh air and concurrently attracts bees and birds. It is a dream place for your pets. And above all, it helps to nurture the value of self-reliance.

Converting barren rooftops into vegetable Growing Spaces

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