A British company wants you to eat food from an old World War II bunker. But don’t worry, it’s not 70 years old. This grub was grown fresh in what is being billed as the world’s first underground urban farm.
Growing Underground is the name of a project housed in an old bomb shelter 100 feet below the surface of London’s Clapham district. Originally intended to hold 8,000 Londoners in case of an attack, the space now grows “pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, red amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket for the London restaurant market,” according to Farmer’s Weekly. “We are delighted that our first shoots will be delivered to the surface in the next few weeks,” said Richard Ballard, one of the founders of the project. “After eighteen months of research, development, growing trials – and tribulations – we are about to start supplying into the market.”
The farm uses a sealed clean-room environment outfitted with advanced LED lighting and its own ventilation and irrigation systems that allow underground farmers to grow crops in an environmentally-friendly manner using very little energy. And since it’s all underground, the project ‘s organizers claim they can grow crops year-round without any risk of pests or disease. “Because we have total control over their environment, each tiny leaf tastes as amazing as the last and because they are unaffected by the weather and seasonal changes, we can reduce the need to import crops and drastically reduce the food miles for retailers and consumers,” Growing Underground states.
The initial crops will go to select restaurants in London. So if your salad starts asking you what life above ground is like, you’ll know why.