Is Underground Farming the Future?
According to the BBC, a subterranean farm deep inside a South Korean subway station may unlock the secret to food sustainability.
Metro Farm uses hydroponic growing trays and an automated tech network to control the underground ecosystem’s temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. The result is a highly productive “vertical” farm that produces some 30kg of vegetables per day at a rate that is 40 times more efficient than traditional farming.
In the adjacent café in the subway, as many as 1,000 customers a day now purchase salads, smoothies and edible flowers grown next door in a full seed-to-table operation.
More than seven million passengers ride Seoul’s metro system every day. Since September 2019, those passengers aren’t bombarded with billboards and ads – they see a glass-panelled façade fo leafy shoots, sprouts and microgreens under bright LED lights as part of the subterranean organic Metro Farm.
Farm8, the tech startup behind Metro Farm, this is just the first of many sustainable urban farming ventures that the company hopes to introduce across South Korea. The company believes that by developing these high-tech ventures in high-density areas, consumers will spend less on food transportation costs, C02 emissions associated with food delivery will drop and people will have a sustainable, year-round alternative to crops increasingly affected by pollution and climate change.
And what could be more local and fresher?