South Korea: Growing greens in the subway

Situated in Sangdo Station on Line 7 of the Seoul Metro, South Korean tech startup Farm8 has its Metro Farm. It's a sleek, glass-encased plant nursery housing rows upon rows of hydroponic growing trays.  

The farm occupies 394m2 of space and produces around 30 kilograms of fresh vegetables daily. Most of those go directly into the salad bowls and smoothies of the 1,000-odd customers who frequent Farm8’s adjacent café. “We want to change the perception of farming,” Lee Hwang-myung, senior manager of the project, told Rest of the World. “We want to encourage people to see agriculture as something not of the past but as part of the future.” 

Interest in urban farming has been on the rise for some time in Asia, where innovators in some of the most densely populated cities in the world are seeking ways to reduce carbon emissions and ensure food security for their inhabitants. Since 2015, more than 60 urban farms have cropped up everywhere from former helicopter pads to the rooftops of shopping malls in Hong Kong. In Bangkok, the rooftop of Thammasat University is home to a sprawling 22,000-square-meter green oasis.  

In Seoul, the Metro Farm has already proven such a hit that Farm8 has installed four others in subway stations around the city. The serene, underground landscapes serve as both a viable food source and as promotion for the startup, which offers various tiers of its vertical farms to corporations and private individuals looking to make their space—and the world—a little greener.

Read the complete article at Atlas Obscura


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