When SPACE10 popped up in the heart of Shoreditch during the week-long London Design Fair, the team behind it decided to create LOKAL — a tasty salad bar and hydroponic farming system set up inside the space. LOKAL is the latest project from The Farm — a lab exploring and prototyping alternative methods for growing, distributing and integrating food production in cities.
Throughout the week Lokal gave visitors an opportunity to see the farm for themselves, to experience a range of appetizing workshops, and to taste nutritious microgreens.
According to the SPACE10 team, "hydroponics enable us to grow greens three times faster than in a field, using 90 percent less water, without needing soil or sunlight, requiring much less space than traditional farming and producing much less waste."
Chef Simon Perez was behind the kitchen that served three salads with ingredients including green potatoes, apple crumble and Welsh laver bread — traditionally made with seaweed. Each salad came with a special dressing that Simon made with spirulina.
The next step? Introducing sensors and machine learning to the vertical stacks and connecting the data with Google Home — to enable people to “talk” to plants, in effect, and hear how they’re doing, as well as to teach children and adults alike about sustainable food.
The SPACE10 team also wants to create more salad bar pop-ups in other cities in the future.