With Australians spending more time at home, many households are looking at growing their own fresh produce to build self-sufficiency and self-reliance says one Australian company.

In fact, small urban farms producing food such as tomatoes, corn, zucchini, spinach, silverbeet, herbs, spring onions, bok choi, beetroot, spinach, pumpkin and a wide range of herbs have popped up across a range of residential configurations, some in response to the COVID-19 restrictions, others for health or even financial reasons.

This has led Biofilta, a Melbourne-based urban farming company, to develop what it says is a highly-productive, water-efficient, modular wicking bed that it calls Foodcube, which is designed to enable people to build instant productive urban farms in backyards, carparks, workplaces, rooftops and schools, to assist communities to produce large volumes of fresh food in small city spaces.

Over the past 12 months the Australian-designed and manufactured system has been deployed to urban farmers, schools, workplaces, and also food vulnerable and water-stressed communities such local and indigenous communities in Australia and the Pacific Islands who are having difficulties growing and accessing fresh produce.

Biofilta says it has spent the past eight years developing their modular farming system to help cities and householders become more food secure, and to deal with rising food prices, climate change, drought and other unexpected events where local food production becomes very important.

Biofilta also says that it is currently deploying several hundred Foodcube units per month, sufficient to produce approximately 7.5 tonnes of produce per annum, or to generate sufficient fresh produce to meet the annual vegetable intake of 50 adults by weight as recommended by the World Health Organisation, who recommend an annual consumption of 150 kilograms of fresh produce per annum for a healthy adult.

Image: Biofilta