It has 32 cows and a bunch of robots.

Floating Farm
Credit: Courtesy of Floating Farm

There’s a dairy farm with a herd of 32 cows floating off the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Oh, and robots are helping to work it.

The futuristic project, simply called Floatingfarm, is a Dutch effort to make dairy production and distribution a more environmentally sustainable process. It is calling itself the first floating farm in the world.

Floating Farm
Credit: Courtesy of Floating Farm

The process of shipping milk around the world is a costly one. Instead of taking the milk from farm to consumer, the idea behind Floatingfarm is to bring the cows themselves closer to the grocery store aisles.

"We also want to reduce transportation because now food is transported all over the world, with planes and ships and trucks, and that creates a lot of pollution. And it also creates food losses," designer Peter Van Wingerden told Euronews.

The “floating cow garden” is meant to be a circular enterprise. It is powered entirely by solar panel energy. Water is collected from a rooftop mechanism that captures and purifies rainwater. The cows eat waste collected from the city, like “grain and potato peels from breweries, and grass clippings from sports fields and golf courses,” according to Smithsonian. And, in return, the cows will provide manure to be reused as fertilizer for Rotterdam’s public parks and gardens. Robots are helping with these processes, including milking the cows.

Rotterdammers can pick up the milk from Floatingfarm itself or from one of the 23 grocery stores around the city where it is sold. When the farm reaches its maximum capacity of 40 cows, it expects to produce about 800 liters of milk per day.

And for those who are wondering: those behind the farm say that the cows have adjusted to their new floating home and don’t get seasick.

The designers hope to eventually build a floating chicken farm and a floating greenhouse to supplement the transparent produce and food production. It is all in an effort to make Rotterdam into the Dutch architects’ vision of “a city of the future.”