Cork Rooftop Farm was founded in 2020 by Brian McCarthy during the first Covid-19 lockdown. The initial goal was to just grow some fruit, herbs and vegetables as a homestead project with a twist. At every stage, Brian documented the peaks and troughs of establishing the rooftop farm on social media and this quickly gained mainsteam media attention. Recognising the opportunity in front of him, Brian developed a business plan to bring the rooftop farm to a commerical level.
By the summer of 2021, the business had established a CSA which was serviced through a no-dig market garden and were growing salad crops and herbs aeroponically on the rooftop and were selling produce at farmers markets on the Coal Quay and Mahon Point, as well as supplying to a number of local restaurants in the city centre.
In 2020, Brian was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to study his chosen topic of "A Framework For Urban Agriculture". Nuffield Ireland is a trust which identifies and develops leaders in the Irish agriculture sector and supports them through sponsored scholarships, international travel and global connections. It was whilst on his Nuffield journey that Brian was able to witness first hand the challenges facing agriculture globally. Visiting countries such as France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, The UK, Canada and the United States of America he met and learnt from some of the best farmers around the world and this inspired Brian to dream big.