Author: greenlab


BAQUA 2017 Aquaponics Convention @ Green Lab

Green Lab are very pleased to be hosting the two day annual British Aquaponics Association Convention on the 8th & 9th December 2017.

The annual convention serves as a knowledge sharing and networking gathering of the Aquaponics Sector. Connecting participants with latest aquaponics industry updates, initiatives, resources and tools.

It is focused on disseminating state of the art technology and research, market trends, key challenges and showcasing inspirational initiatives and face-to-face networking. The convention provides networking towards the initiation of business collaborations, demonstration projects, technology partnerships and open source data sharing as well as actively matchmaking synergies and partnerships to shape this emergent industry.

Convention details

Friday 8th December – Aquaponics Training Workshop 10.00 – 16.00
This takes place at Green Lab and includes a delicious lunch

Saturday 9th December – Main convention 09:00 – 17:00
The convention will cover many aspects of aquaponics including exciting projects and people emerging in the sector incl. Paul Bavister (Flanagan Lawrence) and Fred Labbe (Expedition) invite you to explore their World Architecture Forum Shortlisted Aquaponics Proposal. A look at 2017 the state-of-the-art in research + poster competition and presentations. Catching up with the latest on fish health challenges for UK aquaponics and on compliance with CEFAS, and exploring a key theme of ‘Feed’.

Tickets range from £55 to £300 – there are a limited number available, please book early to avoid disappointment. Find out more about the convention and REGISTER FOR TICKETS

The BAQUA annual conferences aim to:
 • facilitate knowledge and resource sharing across the network
 • enable members to overcome specific operational issues through access to specific information and expert guidance
 • introduce innovations and the state-of-the-art in research and practice from the UK and beyond
 • provide a high-level training opportunity for practitioners
 • make aquaponics more accessible to entry-level practitioners

Find out more about the convention and REGISTER FOR TICKETS

Schrödinger’s Caffè: The Future of Food

Green Lab are excited to be hosting the very first Schrödinger’s Caffè event at the lab on the 16th November.

Schrödinger’s Caffè – Is the best space to ‘Nerd out’. The inaugral event has an apt theme: Future of Food, kicking off from 7pm with a very experimental style and approach.

The event will have special concoctions for you to try including insects, algae and greens; the event will be curated to help participants understand current thinking and trends on Food, coupled with vibrant and animated discussions.

Topics for discussion will include: will insects solve some of the big food problems we face? How much of our food can we grow in urban environments? Who are the future urban farmers leading this change and how is technology playing a role in this?

Mac’s Cafe will be in the Lab inspiring us all with some quaint concoctions.

Event Details
Thursday, 16th November 2017
7pm – 9pm
Tickets £6 per person

Register to attend Schrödinger’s Caffè

Composting with UCL at Green Lab

We don’t like waste. In fact we are actively trying to eliminate or recycle everything that we grow, farm or produce at Green Lab – whether its eating the food we grow, recycling the cardboard we receive or composting left over food from the lab.

Over the past few weeks Green Lab has been working along side a UCL researcher to develop a programme of research focused predominately on composting and bio-digestion systems.

In late August we participated in an event hosted by UCL at Hackney Wick, Grow: a kitchen & creative space, with a community of London narrow boat users. Exploring the practicalities of composting toilets and the human factors involved in using, emptying and composting.

From late September 2017, we’ll be working alongside a small team of Msc and PhD researchers from University College London – Environmental Engineering, on a project exploring the transformation of ‘humanure’ – yes, that’s the organic matter we produce that is typically mixed with clean drinking water and flushed through a complex piping system to large sewage processing systems – to safe and sustainable products.

Working with the narrow boat community and an on-site system at Green Lab the research project will explore the human factors in designing these systems, and the end use of fertiliser for leafy greens and hydroponic plant growth.

We’ll be using a Kildwick system (generously donated by Colin Ives) at Green Lab and inviting all our early stage startups to participate.

The agricultural composting project will transform mixed organic matter including food, leaves, dead organic mater and human organic media. We’ll be open sourcing all of our findings and naturally sharing the outcome of the project over the coming months.

The project is being lead by Eve MacKinnon, one of the Green Lab team and PhD Researcher in Safe Sanitation Management.

What is composting?

Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months.

To be really inspired read Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins.

London Food Tech Week Ticket Offer

Join a global community of Food and Ag Tech innovators, start-ups, investors and brands for the world’s largest week-long showcase and collaboration of the companies and trends transforming the Food ecosystem using technology.

YFood are offering the Green Lab community 10% off tickets using the code GREENLAB10 and you can save a further 20% until 31 Aug with Early Birds.

Find out more and check out the Day Themes and first speakers at www.yfood.com

Become a Green Lab Volunteer

Join our hardy group urban farmers and agritech volunteers from the 25th September 2017 to build a number of growing projects in the Lab. We’re looking for 8 volunteers to offer their enthusiasm in urban agriculure to help build a number of exciting projects in the lab; from a small scale fish farm, edible plant vertical garden to a food composting system.

We’ll provide the inspiration and help you learn about different agricultural and growing systems – all you need is an enthusiastic curiosity about urban farming, and up to 8 hours of free time during the week (ideally Monday – Saturday).

We’ll be building the systems indoor and outdoor at our site in Bermondsey. If this sparks your interest and you’d like to find out more register on our Google Form.

Deadline for volunteer applications 18th September 2017.

Grow at Green Lab

Aquaponics, algae, edible plants, hydroponics, microgreens, insects or mushrooms… take your pick, there is space at Green Lab to grow all of these.

From September 18th we’ll be offering six urban farming residency spaces in the lab for individuals to grow their own food projects. Each resident will have access to a grow bay in Green Lab to farm their own food related project, whether you want install a small scale aquaponics pilot, create an edible plants display or just grow that basil for your pesto.

Green Lab growing bays provide just enough space for small scale projects for individuals, schools or early stage urban agriculture startups. You’ll be able to experiment with growing habitats, lighting and different growing media – they are a blank slate.

Live projects in our growing bays.

Algae
Corn and peas growing hydroponically in Coir

Algae
Aquaponic chilli and spinach with Red Comets

Algae
Spirulina growing in 15 litre upcycled water cooler bottles

We only ask you don’t bring any pests or diseased plants into the lab – we’ll help you get started, get growing and learn about urban agriculture. Use of the lab will be free for the first 3 months, after which it will be £30 p/month for the bay.

You’ll need some basics like a grow tray, maybe a light, growing medium or maybe a fish tank – it’s up to you what grow or farm, but we’ll help you get started. You can either bring your own kit or rent from the lab. We offer subsidised rates for students and educational bodies.

If you’d like to become a Green Lab grow resident tell us more about yourself here.

Deadline for applications 12th September with an 18th September start in the Lab.

Green Lab to develop a ‘Green Lung’ #LFA2017 Winner

Green Lab will be playing a key role in a collaborative bid that YOU &ME architecture recently won at the London Festival of Architecture competition. The competition will give the Green Lab team a chance to design a bioremediation ‘Green Lung’ concept beneath the Silvertown flyover, in the Royal Docks area of Newham, east London.

The ‘Green Lung’ will lie at the centre of a ‘Greenline Flyover Testbed’ proposal, exploring how natural sustainable methods can reduce air and water pollution generated from high trafficked flyovers.

Flyover sketch

YOU &ME with 3Space, Green Lab and Mott Macdonald, the practice overcame the competition of 52 other applicants with their proposal “Greenline Flyover Testbed”.

Read more about the submission.

Green Lab #openhouse: Agricultural Mavericks

Green Lab is hosting a monthly #openhouse event for the London urban farming community in London. Join us from 7pm on the last Thursday of every month to share ideas, showcase your startup or just meet other people with similar interests.

We’ll be bringing together an eclectic mix of agricultural mavericks exploring sustainable foods, urban farming, zero waste and local agriculture in London and the UK.

We’ll provide the space, drinks and nibbles. Got something you want to present or talk about? Drop the team an email at hello@greenlab.org

Sessions will run something like this

– 7.00pm Doors open and grab a drink
– 7.15pm Open mic and lighting talks kick off
– 9.00pm Doors close

Green Lab lives here www.greenlab.org/findus


We’re measuring our aquaponic Chilli plants in Mhz

Scoville is the scale of measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. Mhz is what Green Lab are using to measure the effectiveness of our chilli aquaponic system, 30Mhz.

Located in one of our 24 demo bays is a small scale aquaponic system, home to two bonito chilli plants, two red comets and a host of 30Mhz sensors. The sensors are tracking (in real-time) the humidity, temperature, leaf temp and light intensity of the growing environment, providing the Green Lab team with insight into the growing cycle.

Aquaponic 30Mhz system

Pointed light temperature

Data from the sensors can be viewed in a real-time web and mobile dashboard giving the Green Lab team access to critical environmental data; sensor units are also battery powered, making them very portable and also waterproof. We like.

Zensie Dashboard

Over the coming months we’ll be adding pH and CO2 sensors as part of a year long pilot to embedd the 30Mhz sensor technology into a variety of lab projects; aquaponic, hydroponic, insects and algae.

About 30mhz

30MHz believes that with technology and data, organizations of any size can innovate to become more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective. Using easy to deploy wireless sensors, we’re empowering businesses to turn metrics captured from the physical world into actionable insights at industry-scale.

With the 30MHz Toolkit, we’re lowering the barrier to entry to industrial sensor technology. Our scalable and interoperable plug-and-play solution is designed for quick roll-out of sensors in the hundreds of thousands, and our dashboard makes data monitoring simple and user-friendly from any device.

Find out more at www.30Mhz.com

Insects. The name is molitor, Tenebrio molitor.

When was the last time you tried a gluten free mealworm french bread? Or maybe a mealworm banana smoothie? Insects are on the menu, and Lucinda Pender a designer and MA Material Futures graduate from Central Saint Martins is fascinated by insect food systems.

Lucinda is exploring the world of entomophagy and mealworm beetles (Tenebrio molitor) researching how insects can be introduced into a western diet, breaking down the cultural taboo surrounding entomophagy and how insects could transform the future of our food.

Green Lab is home to Lucinda’s research project.

“Developing my project, ‘The Entomophagy Welfare Act’ on the MA Material Futures course at Central Saint Martins, I have dedicated the last year exploring the processing system and legislation that would be needed in order to support the mass consumption of mealworms!

Currently, the thought of eating insects for many westerners is seen as a taboo, however the benefits of eating insects is comparable and even in some cases better than traditional meat sources on an environmental and nutritional level, it’s time that insects were taken seriously as a human food source. I truly believe in introducing more people into the world of entomophagy and am constantly excited by how new ideas and developments can all aid to its acceptance.

Farming mealworms at GreenLab means that I have the time and space to develop my knowledge of the mealworm and how ultimately we can utilise them as food for the future.

This is a really exciting time for entomophagy! With a lot of design projects and start-up companies all presenting and developing their own ways to introduce insects to the western diet.

Green Lab is an environment dedicated to the future of sustainable food systems, being able to be contribute to the space as well as be around others exploring their own areas of the future of food is an extremely exciting opportunity for me and my project! And I look forward to what the future of my project holds in the space”

Mealworm Beetle
Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, a species of darkling beetle.

‘The Entomophagy Welfare Act 2017’ explores the processing system and legislation that would have to be created to support the mass consumption of mealworms as an acceptable and ethical food source for western diets.

Lacking development and regulations has meant that the introduction of mainstream entomophagy has stalled. Currently, there is no law or legislation around the farming, slaughter or preparation of an insect for human consumption in the UK, meaning that even if a commercial company or kitchen wanted to utilise them, they may not be working completely within UK law.

Working with leading entomologists, I have researched, explored and proposed the cleanest, most humane and ethically efficient method of killing a mealworm for human consumption commercially or at home.

Through this project I hope to not only propose future legislation around the preparation and slaughter of mealworms commercially, but to also help make entomophagy more culturally, socially and ethically acceptable to a western society.

We’ll be posting regular updates from Green Lab on the project and you can follow Lucinda Pender on Twitter.