We'll file this one under things we never expected to happen
We all know about the farm-to-table movement. How about the farm-to-tube station movement?
Growing Underground is a new subterranean farm operating 100ft beneath the ground under Clapham High Street, in the disused WWII tunnels and air raid shelters below the Northern Line.
Currently growing? A selection of herbs, greens and vegetables including pea shoots, radishes, mustard, coriander, red amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket, which will all be making their way to West End restaurants in July.
Launched by West Country entrepreneurs Steven Dring and Richard Ballard, along with Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr (the project also has the support of London mayor Boris Johnson), the team has raised £750,000 in start-up costs to fund the hydroponic systems and LED technology in which the crops can be grown year-round.
Crops are planted in a pesticide-free sealed environment that uses minimal energy – sourced exclusively from green suppliers – to ensure zero environmental impact. No produce will travel further than the M25 to keep things carbon-neutral.
"I’m looking forward to creating my first dish using produce from the world’s first underground urban farm, less than two miles as the crow flies from the heart of London," says Michel Roux Jr of the project.
"It’s great to be involved in this ambitious project, for which we have equally ambitious growth plans. Above all, it’s fantastic to be able to source produce that is so fresh in the heart of Britain’s largest city."
Urban farming never sounded so cool.