The development of urban agriculture provides a response to growing urbanisation – the growing gap between agricultural rural areas that produce food for cities and consumers. Recent years have seen the emergence of new innovative approaches to bring these two worlds together including urban gardens, educational peri-urban farms and direct sales models.
Locally, AccorHotels has set a target of 60 hotels with vegetable gardens by 2020. In order to be valid, gardens need to meet certain criteria, including a minimum cultivation area of 20m2, production of plants for food consumption and regular maintenance. Each garden will be adapted to the context of the hotel and relevant space constraints. In 2017, a review was conducted of properties which identified 16 Australian hotels with existing herb and vegetable gardens. A number of hotels have well established productive kitchen gardens, for example:
- PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO
Pullman Reef Hotel Casino has brought to life unused roof and balcony space with the installation of two Ebb and Flow (flood and drain) hydroponic systems which produce a range of herbs and edible plants for hotel guests food and beverage outlets. The hotel has also set up two bee hives hosting a total of approximately 20,000 bees on the hotel’s rooftop. All honey produced is passed directly onto the hotel’s award winning Tamarind Restaurant.
- NOVOTEL CAIRNS OASIS RESORT
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort successfully relocated and replanted their existing herb garden to make it closer to the kitchen and accessible to guests. The Hotel has expanded the variety of planted herbs which are used in the menus and the hotel bar has come up with a number of herb infused cocktails using basil, rosemary and min
AccorHotels have also participated in the Univative program which involves giving university student teams real world problems in a hackathon style event run over four weeks. Four teams from University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong and Macquarie University took on the AccorHotels project which focused on how best to expand the use of vegetable gardens across the Australian network. Teams were asked to consider garden design, cost, productivity and guest engagement in developing their solutions. University of New South Wales won the challenge based on their innovative 3D printed modular design concept and plant selection.