Sandwiched in between a nail salon and a secondhand store on a busy street in East London, FARM:shop is exactly what it sounds like: an urban farm inside a store. Once a rundown building, the shop was redesigned in 2011 to include a small aquaponic fish farm, chicken coops on the roof, and greens growing in every available bit of space.
The designers wanted to make the store a hub for urban farming, so it's not only meant for growing food; visitors can come eat food at a cafe downstairs (made from what's growing in the building, naturally) and talk to fellow foodies and urban farmers. The space hosts workshops and events. For anyone interested in indoor urban agriculture, it's a place to come learn in person. As Bohn & Vijeon Architects wrote about it, it matters that it exists in real life:
For every real picture we have of urban food production, there are a dozen computer mock-ups. The case for cities that are intimately connected with the source of their food has been made. The problem is that not enough people are turning it into a reality...yet.
The organizers are interested in helping others with vacant spaces transform their own buildings to centers of food production. Visit FARM:shop to learn more.
This month, we're challenging the GOOD community to host a dinner party and cook a meal that contains fewer ingredients than the number of people on the guest list. Throughout March, we'll share ideas and resources for being more conscious about our food and food systems. Join the conversation at good.is/food and on Twitter at #chewonit.