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Urban vertical farming: The future of food?

Urban vertical farming: The future of food?

Working with amazing British suppliers has always been at the heart of what we do. Our journey started on a Devon fishing boat near to where we grew up, so we know how important locally sourced produce is to a great meal. We are constantly searching the country for the best quality ingredients to include

Working with amazing British suppliers has always been at the heart of what we do. Our journey started on a Devon fishing boat near to where we grew up, so we know how important locally sourced produce is to a great meal. We are constantly searching the country for the best quality ingredients to include in your boxes, and sometimes that search takes us to unexpected places…

We aren’t afraid to challenge conventional methods and reshape the traditional food supply chain. That is exactly how we came across a small family run British business named Minicrops.

Mindful Chef Co-founder Giles, Minicrops Founder Jamie and Chef Louisa

We really believe in their ethos – to bring better food, health and sustainable produce to UK cities – it’s definitely the future of farming. They grow over 80 varieties of fresh baby leaf salads, micro herbs and edible flowers in an innovative vertical farm in London. No pesticides or herbicides are used at any stage of their growing process and produce can be delivered to our warehouse within a matter of hours post picking. This means we are able to send you the freshest, highest quality ingredients all year round.

At Mindful Chef we’ve always tried to lead from the front and be unafraid to try something new. Co-founder Giles and Chef Louisa visited Minicrops in South East London to get the lowdown on the new generation of herb crops from Founder Jamie Burrows.

Can you explain the concept of vertical farming?

Vertical farming is the indoor production of food using vertical racks, shelves, or towers. Crops are fed using a hydroponic, (using water and nutrients without soil) feed system. What we do is officially termed Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). This means it gives farmers a greater level of control over the environment and growing conditions, (air
flow, temperature, light, humidity, CO2 levels).

How does vertical farming positively impact the planet?

Vertical farming means we can grow closer to the consumer, without chemicals, in a more sustainable way. Lighting technology used in vertical farms creates the perfect environment for consistent, year-round crop growth. Farming in controlled environments allows us to dramatically reduce the need for pesticides or herbicides. Plus, we lower the risk of disease and bacteria on produce. Lastly, proximity to our consumers means we have no need to use chemicals or preservatives while transporting produce.

You have 80 varieties of leaves and herbs at Minicrops; what are the most unusual?

Recently we’ve grown Moringa that we found on a trip to India. We are starting to build up our brassica varieties like micro cabbage. We’ve also fallen for Lemon Clover – a beautiful crop with a spectacular taste
to match.

Pecan, peach & avocado chickpea salad

Try Minicrops Peashoots in our 15-minute Pecan, peach & avocado chickpea salad, available throughout July. mindfulchef.com/on-the-menu



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Susan E. Lopez
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