Food and shel­ter

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COVER STORY -

Grow­ing baby veg­eta­bles hy­dro­pon­i­cally is the new use for tun­nels in Lon­don, idle since they were used as un­der­ground air-raid shel­ters in World War Two.

Once in­tended for ex­ten­sions of the Lon­don Un­der­ground, the tun­nels pro­tected up to 8,000 peo­ple from bombs. They were aban­doned for 70 years, un­til en­trepreneurs Steven Dring and Richard Bal­lard de­cided to turn them into an ur­ban farm, pro­duc­ing the ed­i­ble cotyle­don growth stage (some­times known as mi­cro­greens) of broc­coli, co­rian­der, fen­nel, and other herbs. The crops are grown 33 me­tres (108 feet) be­low street level in nu­tri­ent so­lu­tions, in­stead of soil.

This hy­dro­ponic tech­nique can also be used for grow­ing toma­toes and pep­pers.

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