As a country, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the impact our actions are having on the environment. And as we seek solutions, people genuinely believe they can be agents of positive change: according to the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, around 8 in 10 people (82%) agreed that if everyone did their bit, we could reduce the effects of climate change.
The problem is that it’s not always easy to know what to do. The will is there – but where do we channel it?
People want to get growing
Replacing your car with an EV or installing an air source heat pump are increasingly popular ways to go. But they’re expensive – and there are other options out there. Many people are unaware of the simple changes and rewarding steps they can take to make positive choices for themselves and the planet.
During the pandemic, interest in growing produce at home surged – and it hasn’t slackened. The demand for allotments remains impossible to satisfy, while the cost-of-living crisis has really made people think about what their options are for growing at home.
Office farming: a simple impactful solution
A survey commissioned by comparethemarket.com found that almost 50% of people with either a garden, allotment or balcony patch are growing their own produce amid rising food costs. The group with the greatest desire to grow at home are people aged 24-44, but they’re often the ones with less access to outdoor space in urban centres.
Lots of businesses we work with have employees and community members who fall into that demographic. And they often have under-utilised office space. Our solution is simple: we fill that space with farms and young employees can satisfy their urge to grow!
Inspiring positive change in people’s everyday lives
We’re finding that there’s a real appetite for using indoor farms to inspire, inform and upskill people who want to grow at home. There’s been massive growth in demand from our clients for our practical workshops on keeping supermarket herb pots alive and growing from food waste. And there’s been an explosion in engagement with our urban farmers for skills transfer and simple tips and tricks.
We believe our office farms can inspire and support changes that benefit people and the planet in an accessible and encouraging way. For example, the more people learn about what grows where, the more likely they are to choose foods that are sourced closer to home. We’ll never tell people what to do – just give them the information they need to make different choices.
Imagine a world where we’re growing together
Many small steps can create a whole new movement. And when thousands of people are growing together, you don’t simply have a community bound by a shared interest – but a community who are actively making change. Our vision is to make this a reality and create the largest “farm” in the UK.
Picture a map of London or any major city, showing the collective impact of people growing in their own homes and offices. How much water is being saved… how much cleaner the air is becoming… there are all kinds of things you could measure to inspire people to push even further. There could even be (friendly) competition to see who’s growing more – or who has the most community members!
It all starts now
We’ve outlined a bold vision for the future but it’s one we wholeheartedly believe in. And the first step is to give people the knowledge they need to get growing and make more sustainable choices. This kind of learning is with you for life – and it could all begin in an office farm.
Square Mile Farms bring vertical, urban farming to city dwellers. We aim to bring people closer to food production and help to create a culture of healthy, sustainable living. Find out more about our offering and get in touch here with any queries. You can also follow us on social media to stay up to date with our journey, find us on Instagram and LinkedIn.