Planet Pod goes Underground with Growing Underground’s Richard Ballard and Faye Tomson from District Eating
Something is stirring in the tunnels of South London and it isn’t the Northern Line!
Join Amanda and guest co-host Alex Gilbert as they chat deep below London with Richard Ballard, co-founder of Growing Underground and Faye Tomson, MD of Central Eating. Hear how how disused WWII air raid shelter tunnels are being put to good use to grow salad crops organically, efficiently and unbelievably fast. Find out more about how unused heat generated from district heating networks can be used to grow food. These really are examples of Smart Food Production in action!
Richard Ballard has started an agricultural revolution along with business partner Steven Dring in the form of Growing Underground. Located 100ft under the streets of London in disused WW2 Air Raid Shelter, this subterranean urban farm sustainably produces micro-greens using the latest LED technology. The duo are now delivering fresh hyper local produce to retailers and the London wholesale markets.
Sustainably feeding the city from within the city, Richard is obsessed by all things green tech and the future of cities.
Faye Tomson is an Energy and Environmental Engineer with extensive experience working in the fields of district heating, low carbon heat infrastructure projects, and industrial resource efficiency. She has worked on some of the UKs most cutting-edge heat infrastructure projects, as well as with some large-scale industrial food and drink producers, advising on resource efficiency. Faye spent several years working for the UK Government Heat Network Development Unit.
Faye comes from a family of farmers and horticulturalists, so has a lifelong experience of food markets and production. It was this background combined with her previous work experience that led Faye to realise the opportunity for efficiency savings for all stakeholders that can be achieved when the gap between energy use and
food production is bridged.
Faye is an alumni of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and as well as being commercially aware, she also has a desire to maximise the very real social benefits that can be achieved through urban and community farming.
Guest co-host for this episode:
Alex Gilbert is Senior Energy Strategy Manager at TfL as well as being Principal and Director of Clean Growth Ltd. In his role with TfL he is curating, commercialising and delivering the energy projects that will assist in the transformation of TfL – London’s largest and most significant energy user.
HOT NEWS: We are delighted that Planet Pod has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Be The Change Awards 2019. See our short award entry video here.