London’s first underground farm has sprung up in disused World War II bomb shelters close to Clapham Common Tube station.
Growing Underground, opening next week, has transformed the bunker space below Clapham’s Northern Line tunnels into a sealed, clean room environment for sustainable urban farming.
Founders Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, in partnership with chef Michel Roux Jr, have spent more than £750,000 on advanced lighting, ventilation and irrigation systems, allowing the farm to produce crops at low energy.
‘It’s fantastic to be able to source produce that is so fresh in the heart of Britain’s largest city,’ says Roux Jr. ‘I’m looking forward to creating my first dish using produce from the world’s first underground urban farm, less than two miles as the crow flies from the heart of London.’
Growing Underground is producing pea shoots, celery, rocket, parsley, coriander and several varieties of radish as part of the project’s first phase.
The urban farm will begin by supplying restaurants but the founders hope to have a consumer offering in the near future.