Below the streets of Clapham, in a former air raid shelter, you’ll find Growing Underground, the world’s first underground farm.
Founders Richard and Steven are finally opening their tunnels for tours, so you can discover this unique farm’s fascinating history and learn all about its future in a sustainable world. (Fortunately for them, there are no donkeys or goats at this farm. If you’re looking for animals to pet, head to Hackney City Farm.)
Ever wondered how one would grow pea shoots and coriander 40 metres below ground? No, me neither. But the founders of Growing Underground did, and they’ve turned this curiosity into a pioneering project.
Step into the “millennial pink” glow and be introduced to a whole new world of subterranean farming and hydroponics. Being underground, the farm’s micro greens and salad leaves are totally unaffected by seasonal changes, so it’s the perfect environment all year round. It’s also entirely free of pesticides and, given the location, food miles for retailers and consumers are drastically reduced.
The farm has been running for five years now, thanks to a crowdfunding project and early backing from chefs such as Michel Roux Jr. Nowadays, their produce is used by top chefs, and can be found in many major supermarkets, such as Waitrose and M&S.
Tours are led by one of the founders and happen twice a week, from 6pm. They last approximately 75 minutes and, after the tour, you can take home your very own micro herb salad, picked straight from the farm. For more information and tickets, head to Growing Underground’s website.