Quantcast

Underground Farm: Michel Roux Jr. Reveals Plans to Supply London With Fresh Produce

Business

One hundred feet below the streets of London, a 2.5-acre farm will soon sell fresh veggies grown on a not-so-traditional farm.

Dubbing it a "food revolution" underneath your feet, Zero Carbon Food owners Richard Ballard and Steven Dring have teamed up with two-star Michelin chef Michel Roux Jr. to open their Growing Underground farm later this year. Located under the Northern Line near Clapham North tube station, the Growing Underground will offer leafy greens, micro-greens and herbs grown using LED lights and a hydroponics system.

“When I first met these guys I thought they were absolutely crazy,” said Roux, who operates Le Gavroche in London and has appeared on Hell's Kitchen and other shows.

“But when I visited the tunnels and sampled the delicious produce they are already growing down there I was blown away. The market for this produce is huge.”

The team has conducted trials for the last 18 months for the farm that will be carbon neutral, according to a news release. The 100 feet of Earth above the tunnels are expected to keep temperatures around 16 degrees centigrade all year while consuming minimal energy. The company would get any energy needs from green suppliers. Zero Carbon Food says its system uses about 70 percent less water than open-field farms.

"Integrating farming into the urban environment makes a huge amount of sense and we’re delighted that we’re going to make it a reality,” Ballard said.

Richard Ballard and Steven Dring are opening a subterranean farm beneath the streets of London. Photo credit: Zero Carbon Food/Flickr

Ballard and Dring will sell their produce to area markets, restaurants and wholesalers. One confirmed customer is the nearby New Covent Garden Market. The first Growing Underground produce will be available at restaurants and shops by late summer.

The first crops will include pea shoots, broccoli, garlic chives, mustard leaves, radish, coriander and Thai basil. Growing Underground will also grow and sell edible flowers and miniature vegetables. Stage-two crops will include heritage tomato varieties and mushrooms.

“There is no ‘could’, ‘might’ or ‘maybe’ about our underground farm," Ballard said. "We will be up and running and will be supplying produce later this year."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tim P. Whitby / 21st Century Fox / Getty Images

The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.

Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.

The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
A protest march against the Line 3 pipeline in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 18, 2018. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Collin Rees

We know that people power can stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the proposed Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline in Minnesota, because we've proved it over and over again — and recently we've had two more big wins.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scientists released a study showing that a million species are at risk for extinction, but it was largely ignored by the corporate news media. Danny Perez Photography / Flickr / CC

By Julia Conley

Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Read More Show Less
DoneGood

By Cullen Schwarz

Ethical shopping is a somewhat new phenomenon. We're far more familiar with the "tried and tested" methods of doing good, like donating our money or time.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

Summer is fast approaching, which means it's time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images

The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.

Read More Show Less
Flooding in Winfield, Missouri this month. Jonathan Rehg / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.

"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.

Read More Show Less
Reed Hoffmann / Getty Images

Violent tornadoes tore through Missouri Wednesday night, killing three and causing "extensive damage" to the state's capital of Jefferson City, The New York Times reported.

"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."

Read More Show Less