Lockdown and disruption in the supply chain has seen an increase in people wanting to grow their own food.
Almost three quarters of 18-24 year olds currently growing crops and plants – including on their windowsills (23 per cent) and in their bedrooms (20 per cent) in urban areas.
Over a third (35 per cent) of city-based young adults (18-24) have taken up urban farming to save money, 33 per cent grow at home to do their bit for the planet and 37 per cent cultivate crops to have access to fresher food.
With entertainment success stories like Clarkson’s Farm proving a hit with viewers this year, 35 per cent of respondents said they want to grow at home to consume more nutrient dense food (35 per cent), 27 per cent want to educate their children about growing food, while a third (33 per cent) simply want to eat more fruit and veg in general.
“We are encouraged to see that so many people are already growing their own produce.” said Amy Campbell, Director of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, who commissioned the research to celebrate the launch of Project Plant, Samsung UK’s new initiative.
It’s opening of the UK’s first urban-farm-to-table pizza pop-up in collaboration with social enterprise GreenLab, supports a wider trend of the nation turning to technology to take the guesswork out of growing their own.
According to the study of 1500 Brits living in urban areas, 45 per cent of city dwelling adults use technology when growing plants and food from home, including using it to adapt nutrients, control the temperature and the moisture in the soil.
And three quarters (74%) believe technology can assist us to grow our own food and plants at home.
More than two in five (43 per cent) also feel that technology will create greater opportunities to become self-sufficient.
Samsung has teamed up with GreenLab – an innovation centre finding sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges – to launch Project Plant.
Supported by sustainable pizza partners, Purezza, the initiative explores how tech can inspire the way we select, grow and consume food, showcasing exciting opportunities in urban farming and allowing people to experience a functioning urban farm.
Located at The Film Shed in Dalston, East London from October 15, visitors to Project Plant will find immersive domes in which crops of mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, and rocket have been growing.
Diners will be able to create their pizza by selecting and harvesting their combination of ingredients before they are cooked on site.
As visitors move through the space, they’ll be able to interact with the crops being grown inside each of the geodesic domes.
Samsung devices will enable them to control the connective technology in each ecosystem, allowing them to mist the mushrooms within their blue domes, regulate the irrigation of the two metre towers of leafy greens, and even listen to the sound of tomatoes as they grow.
“Through Project Plant, we hope to further inspire our customers, and demonstrate how connected technology can help power small space growing.” continued Amy Campbell, Director of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.
With the nation rooting back into nature as a result of the pandemic – through daily walks and more time spent outside – it was reported earlier this year that three million new gardeners have sprouted since the start of the pandemic.
Lockdown led to a significant uptick in urban farming – so much so that this year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show created two new categories to celebrate those committed to growing in the smallest of spaces.
Selfridges even harnessed the UK’s green-fingered obsession with the recent opening of its new Garden Centre at the Oxford Street store, while the #urbanfarming hashtag has amassed more than 1.4 million posts on Instagram.
“Small space growing, especially when enabled by connected tech, is great as it makes use of ‘dead’ spaces within the home. In addition, small space growing is low cost, it brings us closer to the source of where our food comes from and it’s incredibly satisfying on a personal level too.” said Andrew Gregson, Director and Founder of GreenLab.
“The research findings were encouraging to see as most of us are already growing at home, and with additional support via connected technology, over time more people will gain the confidence to do so too
“We’ve loved supporting Samsung UK to bring Project Plant to life as it’s important for us to challenge the way things have always been done in relation to how we produce, shop and consume.”
Here’s how you can get started at home:
According to new research from Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland over a third (38%) of Brits put off growing at home because of their lack of knowledge, with a further 41% citing lack of space or light (32%).
No space is too small: Don’t think you don’t have enough space as with a little light and some love and care, you can grow almost anything.
Let technology take the guesswork out of small space growing: To take the guesswork out of small space growing, use connected technology to set reminders such as when and how much to water your plants, to monitor humidity levels on your behalf, and ensure plants are getting enough light during the darker months. It’s easy when you have the right tools to support you.
Get creative: Windowsills are popular for a reason but don’t forget about the darker corners of your home. Lighting and heat lamps can turn a blank space into an urban farmer’s paradise.
Quick wins: Choose fruits and vegetables which give you the best yield in a small space such as microgreens, basil, chilies, edible flowers, and herbs. Not only will it boost your confidence, you’ll quickly start to reap the benefits of growing your own.
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