The farm that grows under London, in the tunnels used during the war

THIRTY meters below the surface of London there is not only the subway network, but also an incredible urban farm. Worthy of the most futuristic futuristic scenarios, the project will allow the recovery of a mesh of underground tunnels of 10,000 square meters, used during the Second World War, to allocate them to the direct cultivation of vegetables. The proponents of “Growing Undergrounded” are two young London entrepreneurs, Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, determined to revive a vast, abandoned portion of the English capital.

Although it may seem an absurd undertaking, the two designers have demonstrated in the last two years the complete feasibility of the project, culminating in the underground tunnels sprouts of peas, rocket, mustard, radish, salad, pak choi and broccoli in miniature, a Once fully operational, they may even be able to meet the needs of restaurants and supermarkets in the area.

Thanks to the depth, the tunnels have a stable temperature of around 16 ° C throughout the year, allowing the underground urban farm to never interrupt production even in the middle of winter. The secret of the project, nicknamed “Zero Carbon Food”, is the use of special LED lights associated with hydroponic cultivation, two strategies that allow the growth of plants even in the absence of direct sunlight. To dispel any doubts, Ballard and Dring have tested the products grown by the famous chef Michel Roux Jr. who, after an initial and understandable skepticism, gave full support to the project by demonstrating “on the plate” the quality of the cultivated vegetables.

Growing Underground, which has already seen the partial construction of a small part of the underground urban farm for experimentation, currently located under the Northern Line, near the Clapham North underground, and once fully operational will significantly reduce CO2 emissions currently being spent for the transport of goods, ensuring a healthy and constant cultivation throughout the year. The impact of the underground urban farm will be further reduced by using only renewable energy for the operation of the structure and by exploiting the water from the water table below, duly filtered, for irrigation.

To raise the amount necessary for the development of the project, about 300,000 pounds, the two proponents of the project have entrusted the crowdfunding, thanks to which they will have about 50 days to reach the economic figure agreed for the realization of “Growing Underground”. 

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