How Harrogate's smallest vegetables are making some big progress

Steve Drew proudly shows off some produce he made earlier! Picture: Adrian Murray
Steve Drew proudly shows off some produce he made earlier! Picture: Adrian Murray

A man on a mission to find a home for his 'microgreens' business venture may have found just the ticket while helping a Harrogate charity too.

Earlier this year, Harrogate dad, Steve Drew, began his search to find a home for his new business venture - growing miniature vegetables and greens.

Steve was intrigued by the phenomenon (which is scientifically known as hydroponics) when he learned about London-based company, Growing Underground.

Inspired by their idea to grow produce in derelict buildings and old war bunkers, Steve launched the Yorkshire Salad Co., in a bid to do something similar up north.

But now after a Harrogate Advertiser article publicising his appeal for somewhere to let the business grow, it seems Steve and his veg may have found a home.

Steve is in talks with the Horizon Life Training centre in Killinghall, to work on an indoor unit within the property.

The centre helps people recovering from alcohol and drug addictions to build their skills set and help them back into routine life and employment.

Steve Drew said: "The idea is that it would just be a small indoor unit with underground heating, so it’s all Eco-friendly and in return for being there and paying quite a low rent I will have one or two people working alongside me to help them with work experience and getting some structure."

"This ticks a lot of boxes - I wanted to get involved with the social aspect and to be able to help a charity is great. The eco-friendly side of it makes it a perfect fit."

But Steve's appeal for a base wasn't just noticed among potential landlords, but customers too.

"The article was great because I have had phone calls from all sorts of people.

"I’m working with Restaurant 92, Norse, Fodder, Six Poor Folk in Knaresborough, The Dining Room in Boroughbridge, and a new restaurant opening in Leeds.

"These are all people that have said they definitely want to buy from me. All the chefs want little bits so I need quite a lot of restaurants to make a profit. It’s definitely picking up, it’s still early days but it’s going well.

"There's quite a lot of scope for local kind of retail outlets too - farm shops and things like that."

Leaving no stone unturned Steve is even venturing into educational grounds with the business and has been invited along to the Autumn Flower Show next weekend (September 15 -17).

Taking his hydroponic equipment with him, Steve will have a little stall and display to give showgoers all the micro-veg information they can manage.