The bus is a showcase for Rootlabs, a company that create sustainable, soil-free aeroponic growing systems – that transform spaces into socially productive places and address global environmental challenges. This summer, they’re parked up at Mercato Metropolitano, a community food market in central London.
The farm will also grow herbs to be used in the market. Sam Cox, the co-founder of Rootlabs says, “Produce will be harvested and delivered the same day - it doesn’t get any fresher!” He is most excited about the response the bus and its crops gets from kids, “Seeing the response from kids is one of the best bits of our job. They are often so enthusiastic to see the wide variety of plants that can be grown (and what the edible ones taste like!), and are never short of questions. We offer educational sessions for schools and a variety of family activities at the weekend. You can visit us and learn how to better care for your plants at home, build a living landscape or even pick a punnet of delicious strawberries.”
Ecology is at the heart of Rootlabs’ work. Sam explains, “We believe in producing food and plants in an environmentally responsible way. Within all of our designs we start with what resources are locally available and then look at what innovation we can bring to make the most of them. Areas of the planet where water is scarce can greatly benefit from these technologies due to their low demand on resources.”
Aeroponics can also benefit urban families who want to grow their own food, but have very little outdoor space, or are often away from home. Sam says, “One of the main problems with growing at home is that people aren’t always there to take care of the plants, we’ve all seen plants suffer after a holiday! By using some smarter technologies you can insure your plants flourish no matter where you are.” Rootlabs are planning on taking their message on the road. But first there’s the pesky task of finding an engine for the bus!