Author: anoushka


Green Lab’s vertical farm aquaponic growing system

We now have a fully functioning vertical farm in the Lab employing a tower growing system using aquaponics.

With the delivery of the mint and fish our vertical farm is now fully up and running and we can share with you how and why you should have one too.

We are growing mint in our vertical farm and using an aquaponic system that works with fish, however the basics are fully adaptable to suit your own needs, with the ability to grow a host of various herbs.

Ed who built the system for us explains the basics of how it works –

‘The idea of the vertical wall was that it will fit in a small space and it’s a modular system that can be easily increased in size by adding more wall structures. The design behind it has been left open – I did this partly as an educational piece, it explains itself to the viewer, and can be easily replicated. The system could fit in a school or an office space and would allow you to grow fresh herbs and vegetables.

The system is aquaponic – it’s a circular system – you feed the fish which in turn poo, the bacteria then converts the ammonia in the fish poo into nitrates which are absorbed by the plants and used as nutrients, whilst cleaning the water before returning this to the fish tank.

The fact it’s a modular system means that it can be easily adapted – you can even run the system without fish, turning it into a hydroponic system instead, by adding nutrients to the water instead of using the fish poo.’

HOUSE YOUR OWN VERTICAL FARM

For more information on how to build your own aquaponic vertical wall or have one custom built for your space contact the team at Green Lab – hello@greenlab.org or attend one of our upcoming workshops.

Grow Wild 2018 – Community Funding Opportunities

Grow Wild is the UK’s biggest wild flower planting initiative brought to us by Kew Gardens. As we grow more concerned with the future of our wildlife and our fragile ecosystems in danger of being disrupted we are finding that small groups of people are fighting back with responses as simple as planting native flowers and encouraging wildlife back into their gardens.

Grow Wild is encouraging communities to take back their green spaces and spread wild flower seeds. Having lost 97% of our wild flower fields since 1970 this initiative is extremely important in protecting our natural spaces.

As part of the initiative Grow Wild has now launched their community funding opportunities for more people to get involved, find out more below.

HOW CAN YOU TAKE PART

‘Grow Wild, is excited to launch our new community project funding for 2018. We are awarding funding of £2,000 or £4,000 to community groups that want to bring people together through activities that connect their community and celebrate UK native wild flowers, plants and/or fungi.

Do you have an interesting idea for involving your group or local community in a project. Will it capture people’s attention and connect everybody through activities focused on the creative transformation of an area where they live and spend time? Click here to read all about the funding opportunity. Make sure you download the guidance document and read it fully. It tells you everything you need to know about who can apply, the criteria for funding and the process for completing an application.

Grow Wild is here to help and advise groups along the way. We have dedicated Engagement Managers working across the UK to help guide your thinking and develop your project idea. Contact information can be found in the guidance document.’

Application closing date – 15 January 2018.

We will be working on our own submission over the next few weeks for the Lab and looking forward to seeing all the great ideas put forward!

LOGOS

Composting for the future – we’re piloting our London co-working space composting system

Composting for the future! Green Lab is now piloting our London co-working space composting system. We will be composting all of the organic food matter produced in 3space, working directly with Entocycle, Bento Lab, Idea Drop and Restart Program to begin with before taking waste from the whole office space.  We will be composting our combined waste to use to grow our crops in the lab, eventually eating our leafy greens, creating a circular system.

Andrew Cribb, CEO and co-founder of 3Space, hopes to see the project working and the benefits grow –

“3Space unlocks buildings in cities which would otherwise be empty or wasted in the development cycle, and in the same way we aim to be sustainable and circular in our operations and how we deal with our co-working waste. Most importantly our buildings are about experimenting with other ideas and innovations which traditional offices spaces wouldn’t. With Green Lab’s innovation we will be able to offer our tenants a circular solution for their food waste, where it is composted on site and then used to grow food with the option of them participating in the growing. Where else can you go to work and be able to watch your waste being put to use on site, actively participate and then taste the success!!”

We hope that one day the whole city will be composting and to break down the divide between working, living and inhabiting environments.

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED

If your interested to find out more and follow our composting journey follow us on instagram where we will update with pictures of our progress. Maybe you could start your own work space composting system too!

We are also currently working with UCL to create an open source anaerobic digester, so watch this space…

LAST WEEK @ GREEN LAB: SCHRÖDINGERS CAFFE & AQUAPONICS

FUTURE OF FOOD, SCHRÖDINGERS CAFFE

Last week at Green Lab we hosted the first ever Schrödingers Caffe event, The Future of Food, run by Hasmita Chavda.We were thrown head first into the world of insects with Indroneel Chatterjee teaching us about the potential these little critters have in the future of our food security.

BUG BAR & TINNED TARANTULA... YUM

With more protein per gram than beef we were quick to learn the logical side of the argument, so Neel took to challenging our emotional side and we were pushed to question how these bugs may be made more acceptable and desirable to us in the future.

After sampling some of the (erhum) delicious insects currently available to buy, we washed this down with a cold brew and gin cocktail, conjured up by Mac’s Cafe.

SLOW BREW & GIN COCKTAILS

Next was the discussion of how to grow food in urban environments with our own Ande Gregson, looking at how much of an impact urban farming will have on our future and the future of our food. At Green Lab we are exploring new technologies and ideas to grow food whilst also revisiting our ancestors more in depth knowledge of the land  and what we can expect from it. We saw how the Lab itself is an urban farming experiment, with a group of imaginators testing ways to farm in our own urban Bermondsey environment.

Taking inspiration from one of Green Labs newest crop experiments we ended the night with Mac’s Cafe spirulina and ginger shots, a boost of protein and spice.

SPIRILUNA & GINGER SHOTS, SO SPICY

OUR SECOND EVENT OF THE WEEK  – AN INTRODUCTION TO URBAN AQUAPONICS

John Katona also hosted our first urban aquaponics event at the Lab with Edible Lambeth. We saw an eager group of Londoners come to learn all things fish and greens.

JOHN WOWING THE AUDIENCE

Kicking of with a discussion on the potential of aquaponics, John then demonstrated how to grow your own food using fish waste and a water recirculating system. Using low cost equipment and recycled materials the group learnt how to source, design and build a system for their own home or garden, with one participant planning to do just that –  ‘A well put together workshop, covering the many facets of aquaponics. I’m off to find some barrels.’

JOHN AND HIS BARRELS

With more workshops in the pipeline we hope to see homemade aquaponics systems popping up all over the city in the future.

Look out for future events at Green Lab for both Schrödingers Caffe and aquaponics…

Register your interest here.