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Hydroponics Farm Started in London Bunker

Zero Carbon Food plans to supply restaurants from underground farm

Food being grown in underground bunker. Photo: Zero Carbon Food

Food being grown in underground bunker. Photo: Zero Carbon Food

A pair of entrepreneurs have come up with the novel idea of growing food in an underground bunker in London. A second world war bomb shelter has been converted to grow eco-friendly salad approved by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr. Steve Dring and Richard Ballard created the project, called Zero Carbon Food, to supply top restaurants with hydroponically-grown specialist salad items from the wartime tunnel shelter, which is near Clapham North tube station.

The light comes from low-energy LED lighting. Only using a small part of one tunnel so far, the space they have leased from Transport for London (TfL) gives them a potential for 2.5 hectares of growing space. Greens including pea shoots, rocket, red lion mustard, radish, tatsoi, pak choi and miniature broccoli will be branded as Growing Underground and sold on the retail market and to top restaurants.

Michel Roux Jnr, who lives nearby says, “”There’s a growing demand for sustainably, locally grown produce in London.I thought they were absolutely crazy but when I visited the tunnels and sampled the produce they are already growing down there I was blown away. The market for this produce is huge.”

Dring and Ballard have been through a two year testing and development phase, to see if it is practicable to grow food underground using water and lights, and are satisfied that it is achievable. They are are now looking to grow the project using crowdfunding on http://www.crowdcube.com/investment/zero-carbon-food-13724

The project is using energy from the TfL grid for the moment but there are plans to use renewable sources. Conventional greenhouses use heating and lighting so the project is not as energy-intensive as it might seem in comparison to above-ground farming.

Perhaps this is a way to reduce food miles in the future?

 http://www.zerocarbonfood.co.uk/

Visit GreenJobs for the latest Horticulture Jobs.

 
About Julian Jackson:

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One Response to “Hydroponics Farm Started in London Bunker” Leave a reply ›

  • Helo I’m Very interested in the hydro scene and the amazing benefits it can have on our community’s and the world is there any jobs available ?

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