Covent Garden, the pedestrianised cultural hub of Central London, is continuing its drive for a more sustainable capital. The West End estate has partnered with Square Mile Farms to launch a series of Urban Farm pop-ups in the heart of Covent Garden. The pop-up farm is an interactive way for local schools, offices and community groups to enjoy sustainably grown produce and for Covent Garden visitors to learn more about sustainable urban farming.
This partnership aims to educate visitors, local community groups and businesses across the estate, on urban farming and the benefits of sustainable produce. Square Mile Farms install urban farms in offices, and residential spaces to help communities achieve their sustainability and wellbeing goals with striking, productive growing systems, with this latest installation representing the first within a retail setting.
To launch the scheme Covent Garden is installing the pop-up farm on Floral Street where over 120 edible plants will grow using innovative vertical, hydroponic systems. Plants include herbs, salad and leafy greens such as basil, coriander, parsley, thyme, mint, kale, rainbow chard and lettuce. Each of the plants will be ready to harvest every 3-4 weeks, providing sustainable, ultra-fresh produce which will be available for local communities and charities in the local area.
As part of the partnership, Square Mile Farms will be offering harvesting sessions to Covent Garden office workers, residential tenants, local schools and many more which will see attendees given the chance to roll up their sleeves and feel like they’re harvesting from their own personal farms. The attendees will be provided with education in urban farming and its benefits, and will have the choice to take home and enjoy the produce they harvest. They will also have the option to donate the produce to food banks or similar charities.
Each of Square Mile Farm’s systems uses 90-95% less water than traditional agriculture, are manufactured from recycled ocean bound plastic, are 136x more productive than conventional agriculture and improve biodiversity in urban settings.
This latest initiative is a continuation of Covent Garden’s ongoing sustainability efforts and adds to the existing greening and horticulture programme which has introduced thousands of new plants across the estate. Currently, the scheme has introduced 10,000 UK grown plants including 300 varieties of plants and flowers, 70% of which are insect friendly. These can be found dotted throughout the district, adorning the Piazza and the pedestrianised streets as well as on the 1500sq ft vertical park in the Regal House building in James Street, featuring over 8,000 plants and 21 different species.
Capco and the Covent Garden estate recognise that climate change is the defining issue of our time, and is committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
For further information on this partnership, the harvesting sessions and Covent Garden greening and sustainability programs visit www.coventgarden.london