We all know space is at a premium in most big cities. There’s been several reports in national newspapers recently, of the rich folk of London digging underneath their already substantial detached homes, to create whole new wings even larger than the original, deep in the bowels of the capital’s soil. The underground approach has been taken to another level in South London, where an old underground bomb shelter from the World War II has been converted into an ‘urban farm’. UK publication Farmer’s Weekly, reports that the high tech farm lies 100ft beneath ground level. Michelin starred chef Michel Roux Jr. ,is fully behind the project, which will grow and supply trendy pea shoots, salad leaves and herbs to the capital’s restaurants. The ‘farm’ has serious high level technology in the form of superior LED lights and an intricate watering system, to grow crops that don’t impact on their surroundings, using energy sourced from enivoronmentally friendly suppliers. It’s impressive. And certainly for a city which never sleeps, which is far away from the green fields of the country, and where space to do this overground is non-existent, it does solve the problem of reducing food miles while supplying fresh locally and conscientiously grown produce to the city’s ever greedy restaurant trade. This idea could be blue printed and transferred to other cities in similar circumstances. To be applauded. Would this type of farming ever need to be implemented here? Well, for the most part, our cities are pretty close to green rural spaces, where farms thrive, outdoor grown crops are wetted by soft Irish rain and benefit from a natural environment, and indoor crops are tunnel grown, open to the fresh air and the odd visit from the birds and the bees. We are jolly lucky to have that bonus. So we say hat’s off to the originators of this underground urban farm, who have used necessity as the mother of invention to fill a market, for one of the most exciting and innovative cities in the world.