Underground farms are not something we’d ever thought possible before, but with urban sprawl meaning that agricultural areas are pushed further and further away from the people who eat the food – it would make logical sense to see if food can be grown underground.
Friends and founders Steven Dring and Richard Ballard are using hydroponics – the system of growing plants without soil – to create a hi-tech farm that cuts down on the food miles bringing food from harvest to plate and improves freshness.
Seeds are planted in a wood fibre pulp for an initial few days before being transferred to shelving units under banks of LED lights. The lights are on for 18 hours a day while strong fans maintain the temperature at between 21C and 23C. When the system is fully up and running, the plants can be harvested after between six and 28 days, depending on the plant, before being packed and sent off to market. The process then starts again – underground farms, unlike farms above ground, operate throughout the year. via
This film tells the story of one such farming project, 33 meters below the city of London.
Considering that Cape Town has an entire river flowing underneath the streets of the CBD – we wondering if a similar idea would be possible here?