UK: Bristol farmers thrive growing indoors

While most supermarket herbs travel hundreds of miles before they reach our shelves, Alasdair Marchant's are grown and picked fresh in Bristol at his indoor farm on Chapel Street, in St Philip's Marsh, just down the road from Temple Meads.

The 28-year-old sells flat-leaf parsley, dill, coriander, chives, and chervil with the roots on to keep them fresh and flavourful. Through vertical farming methods, his herbs grow three times as fast as they would outside. In the summer, it's even quicker. His parsley can take five weeks to grow, in contrast to taking three or four months outdoors. 

Alasdair, who is lives on Gloucester Road, set up Bristol Urban Farms two years ago and runs the show mainly by himself alongside his small team of volunteers.

With no previous experience in horticulture or farming, he learned the tricks of the trade through YouTube tutorials as he also navigated how to go about setting up and running his first business. Alasdair's urban farm supplies shops and restaurants like Garden of Easton, Poco, Better Food, Hugo's, Reg The Veg, and Tobacco Factory's shop, with pea shoots, microgreens, and micro salads. 

He added: "There are a lot of businesses in Bristol who are really into that, and they're easy to get on board, but the challenge is getting the bigger companies on board with it too. "You're kind of creating a new category of business while getting people over the fact that it's a new model – restaurants don't typically source their food from one farm." 

Click here to read the entire article at Bristol 24/7

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