UAE: Farming grows sense of community at Dubai's Sustainable City

Dubai’s Sustainable City sits on the southern outskirts of the rapidly expanding metropolis.

Phil Dunn, 46, a landscape architect from Canada lives in the city with his wife and two children.

“Urban farming has really connected people,” he said. “There’s no better way of growing a community than physically growing in the community.

“We are growing food and becoming friends with our neighbours and it has created a real sense of stewardship.

"It attracts a wide range of different people, from housemaids, to kids, stay at home mums and working dads at the weekend.

“We mostly grow vegetables, but also fruit trees, like lemon, lime, mango and pomegranate, and we’ve harvested nearly 60,000 tonnes of dates that the community have either shared or sold off commercially to invest back into the community."

Mr Al Jisr said the farm uses aquaponics, an integration of aquaculture with hydroponics, to farm fish and plants together.

“The reason that aquaponics is such a unique solution is that the fish waste provides a food source for the plants, while the plants filter the water for the fish," he said.

“Residents are also offered vouchers every month where they can pick up their own herbs from the farming operation.”

Read more at The National (Nick Webster)

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