Grow It York wins award for indoor community farming initiative

A community farm based at a container park has been awarded the Best Community Initiative Award at the World Vertical Farming awards 2022.

The farm, named Grow It York, was created by the FixOurFood team at the University of York in 2021, when Prof Katherine Denby teamed up with LettUs Grow, an indoor farming technology provider from Bristol and Spark.

Created as an indoor urban community farm in a shipping container, it supplies hyper-local produce to the surrounding businesses and uses LettUs Grow’s aeroponic technology which is an eco-friendly method of growing crops indoors without soil, with less water and without the need for pesticides, and grows salad crops such as pea shoots, watercress, microgreens and herbs.

The annual Vertical Farming World Awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global industry, with 14 awards for crops, technology, sustainability, and commercial initiatives.

Professor Katherine Denby, from the University of York’s Department of Biology, said: “We are so pleased to have won this award. Working with Spark to establish Grow It York has been a fascinating journey, and LettUs Grow are an inspiring team, who have helped us from the outset to build this community initiative.”

The farm was built to investigate how vertical farming can play a role in creating positive changes within food systems, benefiting health, environment and economy. It forms part of the FixOurFood programme, a leading food systems research collaboration led by the University of York, funded for five years through the Transforming UK Food Systems Strategic Priorities Fund.

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