Creating fresh, local, sustainable food all year round is no easy task but Grow Bristol, a new urban farming enterprise is taking advantage of inner city spaces not usually suited to agriculture to do just that.
When we heard Grow Bristol were holding a launch event at their inner city ‘grow box’ we jumped at the chance to take a look. They have converted a derelict industrial plot in the heart of Bristol into a successful urban farm producing sustainable food including pea shoots, wheatgrass and even fish for the local community. However, the purpose of the ‘grow box’ goes well beyond food production. As co-founder Dermot O’Regan explained; ‘the three things we want to achieve are engagement, opportunity and education’.
The food we eat affects both our health and the environment, therefore we need to build a greater understanding and importance of local food. With the help of some pioneering organisations, including Incredible Edible Bristol, Bee The Change, and School for Social Entrepreneurs, Grow Bristol aspire to “engage the inhabitants of Bristol and the wider world in new, innovative and sustainable farming techniques”.
One of the great tasks for Grow Bristol is the challenge of being a social enterprise, using leading technology and vertical farming techniques whilst still being a commercially viable business. Teaming up with stockists and restaurants across Bristol including River Cottage, The Cauldron and The Food Assembly Grow Bristol have been able to achieve this while also giving countless Bristolians the opportunity to indulge in fresh produce grown sustainably in their own back yard.
The urban farm has its own indoor aquaponic room (or ‘grow box’ to you and me). Farmed tilapia fish provide the nutrients for the leafy greens cultivated in the grow box, then clean fresh water is returned. This closed loop system eliminates the environmentally damaging aspects of fish farming. Pete explains how the “nutrients from the fish coupled with perfect light recipes produce a hue of pink light, allowing them to farm ultra-local fresh sustainable leafy greens all year round”. How’s that for some green science!
Grow Bristol are growing all the time and continuing to innovate so if you’re in the Bristol area, be sure to look out for some of their ultra-local, fresh sustainable goodies.
Greenhouse works closely with organic food pioneers including The Food Assembly and Organix. we understand the importance of fresh, sustainable food. And we look forward to watching the urban farm grow! If you want to find out more on who with work with, visit our clients page.
Also, don’t forget it’s Organic September – the perfect opportunity to ditch the junk and live healthily and responsibly.