Belgian-made urban farms on the rooftops of Europe


The Belgian urban farm start-up Peas & Love allows individuals to rent a plot of land for cultivation and to harvest their own seasonal fruits and vegetables; it was founded in 2015 and opened its first vegetable garden on the roof of a Brussels shopping centre. This is clearly a fashionable concept, as it has also launched in Paris and could spring up in other European capitals.

If you don't have green fingers or enough space to grow fruit and vegetables, then you can rent a plot of land for cultivation from Peas & Love urban farms for the modest sum of 38 euros a month for 3m².  An agronomist will then take care of your plot and "all" you have to do is come and pick your own organic fruit and vegetables. This principle also allows tenants to learn how to grow, store and cook their food.

The same plot can grow more than 70 varieties of foodstuff - some well-known such as salad, cabbage and strawberries, others more unusual, for example New Zealand spinach and salad burnet, as well as aromatic herbs and flowers. You decide which products you want to grow on your personal plot. All produce is 100% organic - no pesticides, insecticides or mineral inputs - and the plants come from local organic nurseries, which means that their production can be closely and carefully monitored.

The huge demand for the concept meant that Peas & Love, and its founder Jean-Patrick Scheepers, had no trouble convincing potential investors such as the fund VC Otium Brands to contribute 1.2 million euros in funding, even though at the start Scheepers was considered crazy. The young business has already set up in Paris and has since created three new gardens and 600 plots in the two European capitals. And the Belgian entrepreneur does not plan to stop there; he has his sights set on other large European cities such as Lille and Lyon, not to mention Amsterdam, London and Berlin. Peas & Love hopes that this ambitious project will generate 200 jobs within five years by creating a permanent presence on the rooftops of Europe.