The Only Way is Up: Vertical farming in North Wales, an emerging market?

The Only Way is Up: Vertical farming in North Wales, an emerging market?

Vertical farming in North Wales is largely unheard of, is there potential for early adopters to have market dominance? We would like to think so.

Picture the scene, a smallholding which is not financially viable to support a young family, the owners have part time jobs which to some extent fund the upkeep of the farm. The traditional buildings in the farmyard are redundant from modern farming practices but in desperate need of repurposing. The cost of conversion to holiday lets is considered unfeasible or not permitted by planning policy. Could Vertical Farming be the diversification and re-purposing solution?

The team at Baileys and Partners have been given the use of a V-Farm vertical farming unit. Their aim is to show that a traditional farm building can be used for modern farming and adopting Controlled Environment Agriculture methods in North Wales.

The teams venture is supported by Menter Mons’ Tech Tyfu project. Jodie and Helen of Baileys and Partners are founders of the new business – Tyfu’r Tyddyn. Jodie explained “Our day job is to identify diversification opportunities on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being able to provide first-hand experience on a wide range of diversification projects, vertical farming was another one of those projects that we wanted to try for ourselves. We have re-purposed a traditional barn next to the offices, we constructed a secure purpose-built insulated timber unit inside the barn to house the vertical farm. The purpose-built timber house allows us to retain heat, deter pests and maximise growing potential.”

The aim of Tyfu’r Tyddyn is to provide nutritious microgreens, herbs and edible flowers to the local community in a re-purposed traditional barn with minimal set up costs. Helen will be leading the marketing for Tyfu’r Tyddyn “We have received a fantastic amount of interest for our greens. Along our journey we hope to be able to provide clients with information on how to establish a vertical farm, what you can grow and the routes to market. We have been in contact with the local school so that students can also benefit from being part of this local project.

In North Wales we contend with changeable weather and land constraints making outdoor growing a difficult prospect. Our indoor vertical farm is not dependent on weather or land but does produce all year-round food in a controlled environment.”

The team will be documenting their journey on Facebook and Instagram and posting blogs on the Baileys and Partners website, when Covid allows they will be welcoming visitors to see the vertical farming enterprise and sample the produce.

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