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The Alchemists of Camden

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

The Alchemists of Camden

Article No. 25 By Article No. 25

We aim to build a mushroom farm in a former basement car park. The idea is to regenerate through the creation of jobs and strengthening the local economy and bring empty space back to use.

Camden Idea stage

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We want to transform an empty and derelict basement of a housing block into a high productive pilot mushroom farm. With a size of roughly 200 m-2 we aim to produce 750 kg of oyster and shiitake mushrooms per month. We want to offer these to local people through local street markets and through sales to local grocery shops and restaurants. People living on the estate would be able to buy the produce at cost price.
Mushrooms are a highly nutritious ingredient, key for a healthy diet. With this pilot project we aim to prove that there can be a significant and profitable production of them within the city.
Local jobs will be generated, both to manage the farm and to distribute the produce. Together with the sale to local shops and restaurants, the local economy will be empowered.
Mushrooms will be produced sustainably. We aim to source locally the organic matter, such as coffee grounds or old newspaper.

What we'll deliver:

  • Transform unused parking bays into mushroom growing rooms
  • Grow mushrooms in reuse local organic waste

Why it's a great idea:

Because it is about capturing value from currently wasted resources. We take an underutilized space and transform it into a valuable space. We take waste as an input for the farm, and convert it into something with a high value. On the way, jobs for local people and skills are gained. And as a result, healthy food to improve the health of the community through their diet is produced, while benefiting the environment.
But the big picture is the regeneration that the project can bring. It could be the start of a new economic sector: urban farming. Its replicability can encourage other food entrepreneurs to create food production hubs in the city that will reinforce local economies and creates valuable jobs and skills. It has the potential to reconnect communities together through food and local jobs, re-educating people in healthy food habits and getting them involved.
The potential attention that the project may attract, could boost the pride of the area where the farm is installed.

Steps to get it done:

  • Seek funding approval to undertake the conversion work and purchase farm start up materials
  • Seek out lets for sale of mushrooms/develop marketing strategy
  • Seek planning approval for change of use and the design for conversion of parking bays into mushroom farm bays.
  • Advertise for trainee mushroom farmers

We are Article No. 25, an urban farming start-up working with the support of the Cambridge Accelerate Programme of the Judges Business School at Cambridge University. We aim to developed commercial scale urban farming to locally produce healthy food right at the heart of cities.
By taken wasted resources, we aim to reduce the pollution levels in the surroundings of the farm at the same time that healthy food is produced.
Our ultimate goal is to help the development of a local resilient communities, connected through the food system. Instead of our current profit-driven food system the result of globalization, we are aiming to a food system that works with the people it feeds, the community it supports and the planet it relies on at the centre.
The name of alchemists of Camden comes from this idea that ancient alchemist had of transforming matter into gold. Here, we are taking waste and transforming into food, something probably most important that gold.

Location Camden

About the space

Derelict unused basement of housing state


London Borough of Camden

How will the money be spent?Total £17,463

Construction materials - £5,000 (29%)
Environment control systems - £2,600 (15%)
Start-up costs - £2,400 (14%)
Growing system - £1,860 (11%)
Large lab equipment - £1,500 (9%)
Cargo bike - £1,000 (6%)
Feasibility study - £960 (6%)
Planing application - £385 (2%)
Small lab equipment - £300 (2%)
Other - £1,458 (8%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. Before entering fundraising these costs will be confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified by the verifier.

Construction materials
Environment control systems
Start-up costs
Growing system
Large lab equipment
Cargo bike
Feasibility study
Planing application
Small lab equipment
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT

Total £17,463

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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