UK: Covent Garden returns to its roots with new urban farm

Covent Garden will finally be returning to its roots this year - as a brand new urban farm aims to teach Londoners the tricks of sustainable farming. Square Mile Farms, which help install urban farms in offices and residential spaces, will launch the installation in the heart of London’s West End as part of efforts to grow sustainable produce for locals.

To launch the scheme, Covent Garden is installing the pop-up farm on Floral Street where over 120 edible plants will be grown using hydroponic systems, which can produce plants without using soil by feeding them on mineral nutrient salts dissolved in water.

Plants include herbs, salad, and leafy greens such as basil, coriander, parsley, thyme, mint, and lettuce. Each of the plants will be ready to harvest every 3-4 weeks, providing ultra-fresh produce which will be ready for local communities and charities. The project harks back to the estate’s horticultural heritage. The name Covent Garden dates back to the early 13th century when the estate was a walled Convent Garden attached to a Benedictine monastery.

It comes as part of an existing greening and horticulture program in Covent Garden, which has already introduced 10,000 UK-grown plants to the estate. These can be found dotted throughout the district, adorning the Piazza and the pedestrianized streets as well as on the 1500sq ft vertical park in the Regal House building in James Street.

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