As climate change becomes increasingly extreme and unpredictable, so too will your food. Is the ‘Growing Underground’ farm the solution?
Campaigners warn that weather changes such as record-breaking rainfall, more intense heatwaves and sudden flooding are posing a threat to Britain’s fruit and vegetables.
Everything from your grapes producing British wine to your potatoes for your guilty pleasure chips are all affected by damages to harvests in recent years.
According to a report from the Climate Coalition of environmental and social groups, last year’s drought and heatwaves led to a 20% drop in potato yields compared to the previous season. The smaller, distorted plants are also leaving British chips an inch shorter.
Over 100ft below the streets of Clapham, the World War II air raid shelter-turned underground farm looks like a scene out of a sci-fi film.
Capable of housing 8,000 people during the Blitz, the bunker is massive. Today, hundreds of rows of green sprouts and salad leaves, lit up by pink LED lights and fed by a high-tech irrigation system germinate as part of Growing Underground.
The farm operates on a closed loop system so 70% less water is used compared to regular farming. Pest-free and unaffected by Britain’s unpredictable weather, it’s able to function all year long.
Pea shoots, rocket, chives and coriander – have your pick. And thanks to it’s central location, within four hours of picking and packing, the farm’s nutrient-packed leaves and salads are stocked at Waitrose, Whole Foods and M&S.
As dystopian as it may sound, could this be the agricultural revolution the world needs to fight climate change?
For a limited time, the world’s first underground farm is open to the public. Click here for bookings.