On 22 August, Ichthys Aquaponics is launching its café at Eastgate Mall in the Aquaponics tunnel. The rooftop aquaponics farm is the first to be placed on top of a shopping mall and showcases that aquaponics is the future of sustainable farming.
‘At our new café, will have an award-winning barista to make the coffee and will be selling smoked trout bagels and croissants. The café will be open until our farm closing time – 4pm,’ stated Mark Austin, System Designer at Ichthys Aquaponics.
The farm was launched in December 2019. It is powered by solar, has a rain capture system in place, a biogas digester and a combination of DWCs, vertical growing and media bed systems. Eastgate’s Aquaponics Farm District aims to create a hub to educate local communities on alternative farming methods. It sees this as investing in the future of agriculture in South Africa.
Through this initiative, local employment is created through an eco-friendly sustainable urban farming solution. This provides an abundance of healthy food, farmed by the community for the community.
‘We thank the awesome people at Eastgate Mall. They have worked with us to set up an entirely sustainable aquaponics rooftop farm where people can come look at how everything works and purchase some delicious and fresh aquaponically grown produce,’ stated Ichthys Aquaponics.
The farm eliminates water waste produced by aquaculture systems and regular hydroponic systems. It also reduces carbon emissions, as there is no need for road distribution.
Asset Management Executive of Eastgate Shopping Centre, Carmen Collison, said, ‘Liberty Two Degrees (‘L2D’), owners of Eastgate Shopping Centre, have committed to reaching a Net Zero Sustainability target by 2030. The addition of the Aquaponic Farm District at the centre entrenches our continued efforts to spread awareness about the current environmental crisis, while providing our customers with an environmentally friendly alternative to food sourcing. We are extremely proud to be home to an innovative, organically designed and operated farm that supports our natural ecosystem.’
Eastgate Shopping Centre