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London Innovators Turn Underground Bomb Shelter into Urban Farm

posted: 06/30/15
by: Danny Clemens
Growing Underground
Growing Underground

An underground network of tunnels originally designed to protect Londoners from bombs during World War II has found new life as the city's first subterranean urban farm.

Dubbed Growing Underground, the farm boasts a custom, low-energy "ventilation system, advanced lighting and a sophisticated irrigation system".

Entrepreneurs Richard Ballard and Steven Dring teamed up with chef Michel Roux, Jr. to launch the green initiative, which received more than $900,000 (580,000 GBP) in funding -- nearly double the goal of a crowd funding campaign that went viral last year.

"Phase one represents more than 750,000 GBP investment in sustainable urban farming for London and we're delighted to be fulfilling our first orders within weeks," remarked Dring.

Growing Underground
Growing Underground

Starting next month, the farm will supply peas, radish, mustard, coriander, celery, and parsley to commercial clients, with plans to open a direct-to-consumer business in the future. If necessary, the farm could expand into neighboring tunnels, which would provide several additional acres of growing area.

"We're delighted that our first shoots will be delivered to the surface in the next few weeks", added Ballard. "After eighteen months of research, development, growing trials - and tribulations - we're about to start supplying into the market."

Learn more about urban farming:

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Boswyck Farms
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