Back in the day, Covent Garden used to be where you went to get your fruit and veg. Before that, it was a walled ‘convent’ garden attached to a monastery (looks like they lost the letter ‘N’ somewhere down the line). Now, it’s looking a little different: you’ll probably catch a street performer or two and encounter at least a few bougie shops. But with a new urban farm that’s just popped up in the area, Covent Garden will finally be reclaiming its horticultural roots.
The pop-up farm is installed in a retail space on Floral Street where over 120 edible plants will be grown using vertical hydroponic systems: including mint, lettuce, basil, coriander, parsley, and thyme. The systems work by feeding nutrients directly into the soil, and are made from recycled plastic, using 90 to 95 percent less water than traditional agriculture. Plants will be harvested every three to four weeks, with members of the community and local schools invited to join harvesting sessions to learn about sustainable eating and take home the fresh produce, or otherwise donate it to food banks and similar charities.
The project, run by Covent Garden and Square Mile Farms, is part of an ongoing effort to make Covent Garden more green, with 10,000 UK grown plants already introduced to the area – so keep your eyes peeled for a bit of greenery next time you’re around, and get those gardening gloves out.