GrowUp Urban Farms has arrived!

Home sweet home! GrowUp Urban Farms has arrived in Beckton, East London. It may not look like much now, but before the end of the year this warehouse will be the UK’s first commercial scale aquaponic urban farm. 6000 square feet of currently disused urban space will be transformed into a growing environment capable of producing 65kg of salad a day.

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 The farm is comprised of two “growing zones”

 On one side will be twelve 3000 litre tanks, holding our tilapia. Their waste provides the nutrients for the hydroponic growing beds. Once the water has circulated through the growing beds, it is filtered by the plants’ roots and pumped back into the fish tanks.

On the other side ten vertically stacked hydroponic growing beds will accommodate herbs and baby leaf salads ranging from rocket to basil to pea shoots. Our farm will be a fully controlled environment using LED lighting tailored to the plants and a ventilation system optimising  the growing environment for year-round production. We’re half an hour away from the centre of London so our produce will reach consumers fresher and will last longer, reducing food wastage.

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The first thing to go up is the internal walls, about 7m high and 100mm thick. This is a set of highly insulated panels made from similar materials that you’d use to create a cold-store; bonded polyisocyanurate (PIR) to be exact, one of the most efficient materials used in construction. By separating out our two distinct farming areas we’re able to efficiently control the temperature and vapour inside each area whilst optimising our energy use on the farm.

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Over the next couple of months we will be sharing our journey with you as we build our farm, documenting our progress, our partnerships and our produce. Keep up to date on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages to see how the farm develops.