Through Routes and Shoots, we deliver a variety of outreach and engagement programmes, encouraging participants to engage with the food systems that create what we eat, consider the most effective behavioural changes in fighting for sustainability, and experiment with our hydroponic and aquaponic technologies. Read about some of our community projects here!

Make Hamilton Square

Who’s Involved?

  • Make CIC
  • Local People in Birkenhead
  • Farm Urban

The Project

People from across the community of Birkenhead came together at Make in Hamilton Square to build and operate one of Farm Urban’s innovative hydroponic Edible Wall systems. Over a six-week programme, participants took the lead, under the guidance of members of the Farm Urban team, building skills while growing their own food and experimenting with ways of using hydroponics, and taking the opportunity to learn about and discuss the broader context of global food systems and how to make healthier and more sustainable food choices. 

The Impacts

  • Friendships that strengthen community connections, building relationships for people through creating shared experiences and interests.
  • Learning about food growing and the systems led to behaviour change, participants were more conscious about what they were eating, where it came from, and its impacts. 
  • New skills meant that participants were able to grow food at home, take over the maintenance of the Edible Wall, and gain transferable technical and teamworking skills.

Crop Cycle

The Project

The Welsh Government’s Crop Cycle project brought together community organisations across Wales and expert organisations working with Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Taking place over spring and summer 2021, it allowed like-minded groups to connect after the first COVID lockdown, developing new relationships, building networks, and sharing ideas. By installing our Edible Walls within communities, Farm Urban was able to develop our approach to passing on management of our technologies elsewhere. Building a user guide for people with less specialised knowledge, in order to train local staff, make the Edible Wall more accessible and empower the partner organisations to take control of the systems in their spaces.

The Impacts

  • Community Led, care was taken to ensure that any work was driven by the needs of the people in the places we went to.
  • Empowered Partners were able to grow their own food, taking over the running of new systems in their spaces.
  • New skills and knowledge 

The Brain Charity

Who’s Involved?

The Project

The Brain Charity helps people with neurological conditions in Liverpool and beyond, offering emotional support, practical help, and social activities to people with a wide range of conditions. At their central Liverpool HQ, The Brain Food Café is a safe community space, giving work experience opportunities as well as a welcoming place to eat and meet for service users. It is in this café that Farm Urban has installed an Edible Wall to provide fresh greens. By running courses surrounding the wall in this community space, we can help improve wellbeing and give people new skills. Our Community Edible Wall Programme teaches about food systems and sustainability as well as the practical operation of the Edible Wall itself.

The Impacts

  • Leafy greens grown onsite using the Edible Wall to provide food for The Brain Charity’s Health Food Cafe.
  • Learning about food systems and the environment for service users, hopefully resulting in behaviour change regarding food choices to access healthy and sustainably grown food.
  • Growing food using the Edible Wall, through training offered to The Brain Charity’s users, with the potential to open up job opportunities in the green industry for people with neurological conditions.