Copenhagen is the greenest capital city in Europe. But it’s plants and trees do not only grow in parks and in the surrounding forests and farms…
When you walk around the canals of Copenhagen, you can see the many boats floating by. Some of them are the homes of people: they have rooms as any other house, they are connected to electricity, fresh water. Even though they are on water, these houseboats usually stay at one place.
The inhabitants of these boats are people who want to be close to nature. And what could emphasize it even more? Well, most of them grow vegetables on their own “rooftops”. There is usually plenty of space, where they can cultivate plants like basil, tomato, pepper, or even lemon.
Houseboat owners say, they usually don’t spend much time with nurturing the plants. They only have to water them on a regular basis and they can enjoy their fresh, organic products. Growing can can be even more fun, if there are children in the house, they can be responsible for their own vegetables or fruits.
However, there is always a little extra, that they can’t use themselves. Therefore houseboat owners would be delighted to use GrowR and share their organic veggies with you; and who knows, maybe they could explain you a bit about their not-so-usual lives on the water.
Normally you would associate freshly grown fruits and vegetables with the countryside, but in Copenhagen mini-farms and kitchen gardens are spreading throughout the Danish capital. More and more Copenhageners want to grow their own fruits and vegetables and the phenomenon is known as urban farming. But since space and green areas are limited in city the growers of Copenhagen must be creative when making their gardens, and you’ll find them using school roofs, old factory ground, private backyards, patios and window sills when making their small gardens and farms.
Urban farming combines a vibrant city life with a close contact with nature and the local food production is a sustainable alternative to industrial food production. According to Christian Damgaard, who is one of the initiators behind the communal garden DYRK Nørrebro, urban farming is helping restore people’s relationship to the food, they eat. “The many urban gardens and mini-farms make it possible for people in the city to eat fresh vegetables that are not transported for hours or days. It shortens the food’s travel from farm to table by such a way that one can sometimes talk about ‘food meters’ instead of ‘food miles’”, Christian Damgaard explains.
When growing their own fruits and vegetables Copenhageners also get insight into the work that lies in growing their own products and they become aware how much waste of food that actually takes place. “A walk in the garden reveals without doubt that a home-grown head of lettuce does not resemble those from supermarkets in size and shape. It is also thought provoking what happens with the industrially produced heads of lettuce which nothing is wrong with, but isn’t considered nice enough for the supermarkets”, Christian Damgaard says.
Get started on growing your own fruits and vegetables in Copenhagen by visiting these urban gardens in the city:
GrowR is a crowd-growing platform and a brand new social experience that allows you to connect with people in your community who grow fruits and vegetables, and exchange goods with them.
With an ever increasing interest in the green and ecological trend in society, GrowR gives the opportunity to increase local gardening as well as growing, consuming and sharing homegrown and even organic vegetables, fruits and continued processed products from local ingredients. The excess of somebody becomes the need of somebody else.
“The idea came from us growing a tomato plant on the balcony of our apartment. The plant grew to be so big, we couldn’t eat all the tomatoes by ourselves. We asked ourselves ‘how can we avoid the excess tomatoes going to waste?’ The answer was GrowR.” says Mikkel Zangenberg who is one of the founders of the crowd-growing platform GrowR.
With GrowR you can search for specific fruits and vegetables within specific geographic locations. Futhermore, GrowR helps you to connect, share knowledge and socialize with other GrowR members who share the same interest and passion for organic, homegrown foods. Moreover, GrowR fulfill a second objective of minimazing food waste, maximizing sustainable local farming within your community and contributing to a better environment.
The Collaborative Economy is characterized by sharing goods and services between people. The honeycomb model summarizes the different possibilities of the whole Collaborative Economy. GrowR is positioned in the category of shared food within the honeycomb model since the basic idea of GrowR is to share and exchange in particular vegetables and fruits.GrowR takes advantage of the power of technology to create a valuable market for home-grown food, which has never had a marketplace before. People are empowered by the technology to become “makers”, active co-producers and co-developers of the community in which they are involved. The value of building a community for participants is produced through the connection with trustworthy strangers, creating a social economy grounded on a culture of collaborative production and consumption of home-grown food. The GrowR platform enables peer-to-peer to efficiently get what they need from each other, accessing, sharing, growing and caring unused or underused resources within a common group. GrowR aims to rebuild and rethink the way we consume our own and others’ resources, improving our cities to become more sharable and ecological by the participation of its inhabitants.
Virtual trust needs to be built between strangers to develop the efficiency of the community that in turn increases the reliability and reputation of the platform. Trust between users is therefore an important part of the GrowR ideals. Thus, GrowR provides a system of reviews and evalutions between participants to implement trust between each other and weed out users who do not live up to GrowR’s values. By reviewing other growers and having other users rate your reviews, your virtual reputation on GrowR improves.
GrowR business model
Users sign up to GrowR either through the official website, or in the mobile app. GrowR membership is free, but with advertisements for relevant products to pay for bandwidth and other upkeep related costs. Members will have the option to buy membership on a “Premium” model, which provides the user with certain bonuses. Chief among the privileges afforded to a paying member of GrowR is removing ads from the user interface. Other bonus features will be available to the paying user, such as automatically alerting the user if they are within a certain distance of a GrowR member selling a specific kind of fruit or vegetable. Apart from these features, however, the Premium GrowR experience only offers cosmetic differences. GrowR users will not gain unfair advantages over Basic members just because they have decided to support GrowR by buying Premium membership.