There’s been a new arrival on Cork’s Rooftop Farm.
The lush city oasis, hidden above the buildings in the middle of the city, has just welcomed it’s first-ever full-time residents; six hybrid laying chickens, bred in Castletownsend and delivered to their unique new home by Ger Knowles from Bandon Garden Centre.
Rooftop farmers Brian McCarthy and his partner Thayane ‘Thay’ Carlos have built a cosy custom chicken coop with egg-laying boxes for them to live in.
Once they get settled in their new city digs, it is hoped they will begin to lay eggs in the very near future.
“They’re four months old now so we should hopefully get eggs in a month or so,” Brian told Yay Cork.
A growing concern
It’s been a busy start to the summer for Brian and Thay, who decided to forge ahead with the idea for the farm just before the lockdown began,
Brian’s family ran a fresh flower business from the ground floor of the building and he suspected if he could make his plan work, that the rooftop would be an ideal spot to create an inner-city oasis in which to grow fresh food.
With permission from his father, who owns the building, and the green light from an engineer, who assessed the structure of the roof to ensure it was capable of supporting 20 tonnes of topsoil, Cork Rooftop Farm began to take root.
Since then, the previously unused space is positively blooming; a greenhouse and climbing trellis have been built, vertical aeroponic grow towers have been erected for herbs and salad leaves and there’s a polytunnel full of seedlings ready to go.
The farm will eventually grow all the basic vegetables, from potatoes, carrots, lettuce, turnips, tomatoes and herbs to peppers, parsnips, broccoli, courgettes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, radishes, peas, beans and about another 40 or 50 varieties, giving city dwellers the chance to access a supply of locally grown food with zero air miles.
With any luck, soon they’ll be able to pick up a box of farm-fresh eggs too.
Want to volunteer?
If you have a few hours to spare every week, Cork Rooftop Farm is looking for volunteers to help out. Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, they’ll be accepting applications. You can put your name in the mix on the volunteering page here.