100 Feet Under London, a Farm Sprouts

Carbon-neutral operation housed in WWII air-raid shelter
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 9, 2014 9:26 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2014 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – A pair of Londoners have taken up farming in the city—about 100 feet underground. Their business, supported by TV chef Michel Roux Jr., uses a former air raid shelter from World War II as a place to grow vegetables and herbs. The project, called Growing Underground, spreads across about 2.5 acres under the London Underground, the Telegraph reports. The plants are grown under LED lights using hydroponics, which provides nutrients in water, Mashable explains.

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The company's goal is eco-friendliness: Growing Underground's website says it has "zero effect on the environment." The underground system uses 70% less water than a typical farm, the company says, noting that it doesn't use pesticides—since "there are no pests living this far underground." The carbon-neutral operation is right in the city, so products can go from farm to your plate within eight hours, the firm notes. And the food is available year-round. Growing Underground is currently aiming to raise some $490,000 for its effort via CrowdCube, Mashable notes. (On the other side of the pond, Vermont researchers are trying to revolutionize the way we make maple syrup.)

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