Challenge E – Desktop Harvest

Melbourne’s rapid expansion is consuming some of our state’s most productive farmland at a time when our food system is already under significant pressure. With more people to feed in the future, the question of where we will source our food is becoming increasingly relevant.

Desktop Harvest challenges the idea of traditional urban agriculture and proposes that the heart of the city holds the answer. The technology to efficiently grow food inside buildings has been advancing rapidly over the past decade, but only minimal uptake has been observed within Australia.

Desktop Harvest will provide a platform to connect technology providers and leading research with local organisations to unlock the food production potential of Melbourne’s office space. Organisations will compete against one another to grow as much food as possible within their available office space, which will encourage participation and the opportunity for marketing their impressive undertaking.

Growing food in offices is not only an economically viable and socially sustainable supplement to the mainstream food system, but employee engagement and participation will enhance office productivity and encourage the large-scale cultural change necessary to legitimise urban agriculture. Once participation hits critical mass, industry will demand that indoor food production be incorporated into Green Star Rating metrics for buildings.

Join us in moving towards a food neutral Melbourne!