A group of designers in London, led by the team from Something & Son, have successfully built the world’s first storefront farm inside of a shop in Hackney. They’ve got vegetables growing all the way up to the rafters, a garden in the backyard, fish in the front room, chickens on the roof, and there is a cafe on the bottom floor that serves up delicious dishes made from the farm’s home-grown goods. The FARM:shop, which officially opens this week, is an urban experiment that seeks to show just how much food can be grown in a confined space.
The project is part of Hackney’s Art in Empty Spaces project that seeks to fill empty commercial spaces in the neighborhood with meaningful projects of interest to the residents, and sustainably focused design practice Something & Son has created a project meaningful to more than just the neighborhood. Even stars like the healthy food-focused Jamie Oliver have stopped by to see what the team is up to. The team put out an open call recently for people across the UK who have empty spaces they’d like to turn into a FARM:shop — perhaps this amazing pop-up will start a permanent trend.
“One of the big things we want to achieve is to see how much food we can grow in Dalston,” said Andrew Merritt of Something & Son of the FARM:shop on Dalston Lane. The group has opened the doors of the FARM:shop from the very beginning, allowing the public to have a hand in creating the farm and growing food. With food shortages across the world looming and the environmental issues surrounding commercial agriculture and food transportation, perhaps — we’re crossing our fingers — solutions like the FARM:shop and Riverpark Farm in New York City are the wave of the future.