Bioponic farming: Inside the underground plant farm in Yorkshire

Beneath a busy street food market in Yorkshire lies a one-of-a-kind plant farm where top chefs and plant-lovers head to.Welcome to the world of plant farming.

At first glance Leaf & Shoot looks from the outside that it is a health food shop. But what lies underneath this hidden Sheffield gem is something quite magical.

Leaf & Shoot can be found in a former underground Victorian spring factory in Kelham Island. It’s hidden away at the back of Deport Bakery on the site where the popular Peddler Market is held.

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Downstairs you’ll discover a range of micro herbs, terrariums - which are miniature gardens enclosed in glass - and stunning house plants.

Leaf & ShootLeaf & Shoot
Leaf & Shoot

This is what’s called bioponic vertical farming - an alternative way to grow plants, fruit and vegetables in a sustainable way using waste materials.

Leaf & Shoot says on its website: “We have created an innovative system for growing food directly from green waste using worm farms and organic cycling.

“The worms process the green waste (waste food, plant matter, cardboard etc) that we feed them and turn it into an incredibly nutrient rich worm cast. We use that worm cast to create our soil that we plant our seeds into.

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“Apart from the food that we grow, we also create soil mixes and plant food. The only ingredients that we use in these products are either created by us and our worms or are from hyper local, completely sustainable sources, including the waste and by-products from local businesses.”

Inside the underground plant farm in YorkshireInside the underground plant farm in Yorkshire
Inside the underground plant farm in Yorkshire

This has huge benefits for the climate rather than commercial agriculture which involves a huge number of carbon footprints.

Bioponic farming according to Leaf & Shoot could “help urban environments create a large part of their food intake, as well as reducing the stress on the planet and reducing waste in a sustainable way.”

So whether you’re wanting an indoor garden in a stylish glass container, a special soil blend or micro herbs for instagrammable dishes, this mini factory is definitely worth a visit.