Vertical Hydroponics: Square Mile Farms and Nourish Hub’s London Climate Action Week Success Story

The farmstands in full bloom

With the London Climate Action Week (LCAW) upon us, now’s the perfect time to share one of our fantastic environmentally impactful collaborations. The lack of growing space and increasing food prices means access to fresh and nutritious food is becoming harder, or impossible. Nourish Hub not only cooks and serves delicious vegetarian meals every day, but also works closely with London-based urban farmstand specialists, Square Mile Farms, enabling the chefs and volunteers to grow herbs and salads onsite through easy-to-use and inspiring hydroponics systems. As Nourish Hub’s mission to nourish our nation continues to work closely with Hammersmith & Fulham’s Climate Alliance, we celebrate our vertical hydroponics and welcome the positive impacts they have on the environment and the climate, while enhancing the community space with living plants. 

Nourish Hub has always had ambitions to grow fresh food, to educate people to sow, grow, harvest and cook. Whilst the growing space behind the hub is unavailable to growing due to construction, Ffion Hayward, Hub Manager and Yvonne Thomson, UKHarvest CEO approached Square Mile Farms’s CEO, Patrick Dumas, and after a discussion about shared aspirations for helping communities and the environment, the relationship began. With three vertical towers now in place at Nourish Hub, we can grow produce such as kale, chard and rosemary onsite with no need for transportation or storage. Not only does this ensure a regular supply of vegetables and herbs to Nourish Hub, but it is an amazing conversation piece, raising awareness and discussions about the impact food production and distribution has on our changing climate.  

“The Nourish Hub and Square Mile Farms share the same passion. Supporting and nourishing communities. Not just with food that is great for them, and the planet, but in creating opportunities for people to gather, share, communicate and rebuild those bonds that help us all thrive and flourish.”  Patrick Dumas, CEO, Square Mile Farms. 

Being able to use the towers from Square Mile Farms creates a space to discuss how others can grow from their offices, homes and other locations including schools and community spaces. With straightforward maintenance, a regular supply of free seedlings and some love, the towers are an incredible addition to our space. 

Working with SMF has been an absolute joy. The wealth of knowledge and support they offer enables us to grow our own food, in-house, sharing the love and availability of healthy and nutritious food to our community.” Ffion Hayward, Nourish Hub Manager.  

The collaboration does not end there. Nourish Hub have welcomed Square Mile Farms to engage in team-building days on site as well as staff from Square Mile Farms offering their time to volunteer for us. We are also delighted to say that one of our fantastic volunteers, Claire, is now in employment with Square Mile Farms which only strengthens the collaboration. Claire shared “I joined the Nourish Hub in September 21, I was made very welcome by the whole team, the chefs, and the other volunteers…. and I enjoyed stepping out of the kitchen to harvest fresh herbs from the Farmstands – my favourite way to enhance a dish. I discovered Square Mile Farms by sheer luck and applied for a job as an Urban Farmer and realised that their products were the very ones at the Nourish hub – it made for a perfect opening to our discussion at my first interview!’  

As Nourish Hub is a member of Hammersmith & Fulham Councils Climate Alliance, we feel that the relationship with Square Mile Farms has never been more important and is something we hope will continue to develop over the years to come.  

To find out more about Square Mile Farms and their products please visit https://www.squaremilefarms.com/. 

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