By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017
© Greg Newington/Getty Images

Apparently farming on land isn’t good enough anymore. Fresh off Tuesday’s news that the US military is considering putting hydroponic gardens on submarines, and with a floating food forest scheduled to start sailing around New York City on July 15, the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands has decided to send more than just plants out to sea. Dutch developers are currently designing a floating dairy farm. Hopefully someone on their team knows something about cow lifeboats.

According to the Guardian, a company called Beladon that specializes in water-based projects, envisions a 13,000-square-foot floating platform (that’s larger than two football fields) carrying 40 cows producing over 250 gallons of milk a day. The facility, which also plans to harness cow waste to grow plants, will even be capable of processing that milk into a yogurt – all for a mere $2.8 million. Since this is the only floating dairy farm we’re aware of at this point it’s tough to tell if that’s a good deal.


If you feel bad for the cows, don’t worry, the floating concrete barge is slated to have a bridge to the mainland where these animals can shake off their sea legs in an actual pasture. It raises the question of why cows even need to live on water to begin with? “Expanding cities need unbuilt areas and green space for housing purposes, so there’s less space for traditional food production. The logical consequence is that we will look to the water to produce some of the fresh food,” said Johan Bosman, whose Uit Je Eigen Stad farm, restaurant and market is involved with the project. “In the Netherlands, fresh food is available and we don’t have very large cities, but we have a lot of agricultural and maritime expertise. We are combining these sectors to try to make an innovative circular farm to produce fresh dairy products, and by doing so make the city more resilient.”

Meanwhile, the cows are probably saying, “Hey, did you ever consider building some damn floating houses and leave the land to us? It worked in Sleepless in Seattle.” Little known fact: Cows love the movie Sleepless in Seattle.