I had a dream that the London Shard was now a vertical co-operative garden/ orchard, instead of a business headquarter, and I was in charge of it (hey, it’s my dream!). We grew all organic fruits, veggies and herbs, all 70+ storeys of it. A prototype of urban permaculture. It could easily feed the Greater London Area.
It was called VEGA (VErtical orGanic Agriculture).
Within it, there were also greenhouses, hydroponics, and it had all the varieties of exotic fruits that were now grown locally, even cantaloupe and young coconuts (craving!), and amazonian superfruits.
It was entirely solar- and wind-powered, it had its own irrigation system and glacier-quality pure water supply (from somewhere.. trickling down from the Scottish highlands?)
On the bottom floor there was a vegan restaurant, as well as a social kitchen for the needy, both completely supplied from the top, so no grains. (Grains contain phytic acid which prevents absorption of minerals and causes astronomical spikes in insulin. Sprouts are ok, though).
It operated on the basis of membership, whereby families would pay an annual fee and get deliveries of bi-weekly boxes of whatever produce and quantities they chose (no packaging, no packaging!).
The membership was laughably affordable (goes back to my argument that all basic survival necessities, thus healthy food, should be free), under one condition: that all the produce delivered has to be consumed.
When one box is dropped off, the old box, containing refuse and organic waste, is collected for our compost. As such, it produced Zero Waste.
The deliveries were made by a fleet of jolly little electric trucks. Zero emissions, too, because London was now being fed locally and had no need for imported produce.
The best thing was that it never sold or delivered under-ripe fruit (under-ripe fruit has no nutritional value) because we could afford to sell ripe fruit, which, if unsold, would easily be used for smoothies or meals in the restaurant or the social kitchen, or simply composted (most markets sell under-ripe because of the risk of having unsold surplus produce rotting away).
Also, the raw vegan restaurant had nutritionists and natural pharmacists on staff for anyone interested in going all vegan (which, in my dream, was such a smooth process that needed no marketing). The meals there were so economical that no one would need to stop and think about making the choice [and all fast food places promptly went out of business], but we also offered low-income and student discounts, and especially for those sick with various forms of “terminal” diseases (industry term) that can be treated with nutrition. Their treatment could also be covered by NHS (“I’m here on doctor’s orders”), which was, in collaboration with us, relieved of many duties.
And of course I had unlimited access to my own organic produce whenever I wanted.
I’ve been (day)dreaming about opening a co-op, so does a recurrent dream become an intent at some point?
I woke up so happy.. and hungry!
The Shard (by architect Renzo Piano)