More than six in 10 city dwellers would like to grow their own produce

Friday, 15th October 2021, 1:10 pm

A study of 1,500 Brits living in cities found strawberries, peppers and garlic were found to be the food items they are most keen to grow for themselves.

But a fifth don't have a garden or outdoor space, and 35 per cent struggle to maintain a plant-friendly temperature.

Other barriers to growing at home include lack of knowledge (38 per cent), lack of natural light (32 per cent) and simply forgetting to tend to plants (32 per cent).

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The research was commissioned by Samsung UK to launch its Project Plant – an urban-farm-to-table pizza pop-up in collaboration with social enterprise GreenLab.

Amy Campbell, for Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “We are encouraged to see that so many people are already growing their own produce, and that connected technology is viewed as an integral part of shaping the future of our homes and cities.

“Through Project Plant, we hope to further inspire our customers, and demonstrate how connected technology can help power small space growing.”

More nutritional meals

The study also found 35 per cent want to grow their own as they believe they’ll gain more nutrients from home grown foods and 27 per cent want to educate their children about growing food.

While a third simply want to eat more fruit and veg in general.

It also found Gen Z are proving to be the next green-fingered generation with almost three quarters of 18-24 year olds currently growing crops and plants – including on their windowsills (23 per cent) and in their bedrooms (20 per cent).

Almost four in 10 youngsters are doing so to have access to fresher food, while 35 per cent want to save money and 33 per cent want to do their bit for the planet.

The use of technology

It also emerged 45 per cent of city dwelling adults use technology when growing plants and food from home, including using it to adapt nutrients, control the temperature andthe moisture in the soil.

And four in 10 would welcome digital reminders via apps to water their four-leaf friends, while more than a quarter would benefit from a connected hub to switch on growing lamps during colder months.

The adoption of technology could mean an urban farming future for our cities as 74 per cent of those polled believe technology can assist in growing their own food and plants at home.

A further 43 per cent of those polled via OnePoll feel technology advances will create greater opportunities to become self-sufficient.

While 41 per cent believe it will allow us to keep up with demands on the food system and 45 per cent think technology will empower more people to grow their own.

Project plant

Through Project Plant, Samsung and GreenLab want to educate individuals and communities to harness the power of connected technology and support small spacegrowing.

Andrew Gregson, Director and Founder of GreenLab said: “We’ve loved supporting Samsung UK bring Project Plant to life as it’s important for us to challenge the way things have always been done in relation to how we produce, shop and consume.

“Small space growing, especially when enabled by connected tech, is great as it makes use of ‘dead’ spaces within the home.

“In addition, small space growing is low cost, it brings us closer to the source of where our food comes from and it’s incredibly satisfying on a personal level too.

“The research findings were encouraging to see as most of us are already growing at home, and with additional support via connected technology, over time more people will gain the confidence to do so too.”

Top tips for growing in small spaces:

  1. No space is too small: Don’t think you don’t have enough space as with a little light and some love and care, you can grow almost anything.
  1. Let technology take the guesswork out of small space growing: To take the

guesswork out of small space growing, use connected technology to set reminders such as when and how much to water your plants, to monitor humidity levels on your behalf, and ensure plants are getting enough light during the darker months. It’s easy when you have the right tools to support you.

  1. Get creative: Windowsills are popular for a reason but don’t forget about the darker corners of your home. Lighting and heat lamps can turn a blank space into an urban farmer’s paradise.
  1. Quick wins: Choose fruits and vegetables which give you the best yield in a small space such as microgreens, basil, chilies, edible flowers, and herbs. Not only will it boost your confidence, but you’ll also quickly start to reap the benefits of growing your own.