Farm Urban’s Story
Their ‘Greens For Good’ model has many advantages over more conventional growing and food supply chains. Hydroponics uses 90% less water and is 100% pesticide free; food delivery by bicycle is hyper-local; and there is zero waste with compostable packaging. It’s a model that can be scaled and replicated. Farm Urban would like to see this kind of technology put on rooftops and up the side of buildings to green the city, clean the city’s air, create local, hi-tech jobs and – not least – provide more fresh, healthy food to people.
Local businesses can receive boxes of freshly grown perishable leafy greens and can also order a produce pod or even an edible wall. Businesses can buy like for like, meaning a school or community centre will also benefit from whatever option the business chooses. The team has also collaborated with partner organisations that have enabled them to donate all the excess produce to the most vulnerable people across the city.
Farm Urban worked with students at UTC Life Sciences, who helped the team to try different ways of doing aquaponics and hydroponics. The team has also worked with other schools across Liverpool – with Smithdown Primary and Windsor Primary School for example – with virtual growing projects. The students look at the plants growing and adjust light and humidity, and Farm Urban has been exploring what it's like for children to engage digitally in this innovative way of growing fresh food.
Useful learnings from Farm Urban
Growing in the urban environment close to where they deliver means that Farm Urban are growing for taste rather than transport. The team grows leafy greens and herbs, and focus on growing things that perish quickly and would normally be transported full of gases to try to keep them fresh.
Although there are challenges to growing underground, there are lots of benefits to growing in a controlled space that is not subject to the whims of nature. For example, Farm Urban can manage temperature, airflow and nutrients.
Farm Urban’s metrics
Growing more produce