Taking root underneath Kelham Island

Green fingered Luke Ellis founded Leaf + Shoot just four months ago and today his underground farm produces a wide range of tasty mushrooms, leafy greens and fresh herbs which are sold directly to homeowners living in the steel city.

Luke began to sow the seeds for a new business venture six years ago when he realized the need for a change in the emerging technology hydroponics could be used as a way of producing leafy vegetables and herbs without the need for soil or natural light. After realizing hydroponics was being adopted across the world but was not as sustainable as it could be, Luke began experimenting with the concept.

Having spent more than 20 years working as a builder, Luke was no stranger to the world of self-employment. When his partner began selling street food at Sheffield’s Peddler Market, it encouraged him to relocate to the steel city to dedicate his time to growing his budding bionics business.

One of the first decisions Luke needed to make was the structure of his new business, but unsure how to set up and run a limited company, when a close friend recommended the Launchpad program, he decided to reach out for help. Within a matter of weeks, he had secured a lease on unused cellar space hidden under 92 Burton Road and he began putting his building skills to good use, transforming the empty space into the city’s first underground bioponics farm.

Since launching Leaf + Shoot the company has seen rapid growth, selling a wide selection of fresh produce to local restaurants, and delivering directly to customers around Sheffield. As part of his commitment towards building a sustainable, green business, Luke took the conscious decision to eliminate plastic from his business wherever possible, whilst the nutrients fed to his plants uses waste food, paper, used coffee and ash which is composted and turned into organic feed. 

Read the complete article at www.farminglife.com.


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