A start-up is offering to deliver vertically-farmed vegetables to Londoners homes within 24 hours of harvesting in a first for the capital. Crate to Plate, founded by former banker and scion of the supermarket dynasty, Sebastien Sainsbury, currently grows all its leafy greens inside three giant shipping containers on the Isle of Dogs. The type of indoor farming the start-up uses has been tipped as the future of food production, and investors have spotted the trend.
The company, launched in London earlier this year, grows salad and herbs using hydroponics - which means seeds are grown year-round on vertical and horizontal racks without any soil or pesticides. The amount of water, light and “specially mixed” nutrients each kale or basil plant receives is carefully controlled.
The process uses around 95% less water than traditional farming, in a tiny space. In recent film A Life on Our Planet, David Attenborough recently warned of the critical importance of moving away from exhaustive farming practices to innovative solutions.
At the height of the November lockdown the team - which includes agriculture MA students - branched out into high-end “leafy veg box” deliveries spanning Zones 1-3. Each delivery is made on electric vehicle. A £15 variety “farm to table” box will buy you 3 lettuce varieties, 3 bags of other leafy greens and 4 herbs - all harvested within 24-hours of arriving at your door.
Read more at the Standard (Naomi Ackerman)