WWII Bomb Shelters Used as London’s First Underground Farm

By: | July 18th, 2015

Two entrepreneurs, Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, in partnership with Michel Roux, Jr., the Michelin-starred chef, have set up a 2.5-acre crop farm in London.

The farm is housed in two bomb shelters 100 feet below tube tunnels, which were originally built between 1940 and 1942 during World War II. The first test garden is running for a few months as part of a commercial project called “Growing Underground.”

Here are some of the features of these amazing underground farms:

  • Crops are irrigated and nourished using a hydroponic system. This system ensures the circulation of water enriched with nutrients through trays of plants, which sit on a bed of hemp. Moreover, this system uses 70% less water than traditional farming.
  • Underground farms are not affected by the weather and seasonal changes, so there is no wait for rain and no problems with access to water.
  • Underground crops are grown in a sealed, clean-room environment and are ventilated through a bespoke ventilation system. Sunshine is replaced by advanced LED lights that are powered by green energy. In all, the consumption of energy is negligible.
  • Phase one crops consists of pea shoots, different varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, Red Amaranth, celery, and parsley.

Underground farming will no doubt help in coping with the pressure of urban population growth while producing good, healthy food. The mission of the farm is to deliver delicious micro-greens with zero environmental impact while sourcing all necessary energy from green suppliers.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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