Urban smart farms have been popping up all over Seoul in recent years.
These days you can find them in the most unlikely places, even in and around the capital’s subway stations.
Our Kim Bo-kyoung ventured out to get us better acquainted with these so-called ‘metro farms’.
There is something curious happening at a Seoul metro station, where you can see an indoor vertical farm.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government and Farm8, an agriculture firm, recently opened the first metro farm in South Korea at Sangdo Station on Seoul Subway Line 7.
They are promoting this metro farm as a way to effectively utilize unused spaces and carry out urban farming.
Sangdo Metro Farm is an urban smart farm which uses Information and Communication Technology to control the farm’s conditions, making it easier to grow crops.
Exotic vegetable breeds are cultivated with the help of an automated system, which manages temperature, humidity, acidity and provides them with nutrients.
It also allows partial access to people passing by, and a viewing window where they can look at how smart farms operate, while also providing clean air.
“If we conduct smart farming in metro stations, plants can use carbon dioxide which people breathe out for photosynthesis, and people can breathe in the oxygen that plants produce.”
There is also a facility called auto-farm in which a robot manages the entire farming process.
This container-sized indoor farm cultivates young leaves for harvest, when they are fully grown.
People can enjoy the vegetables that are harvested from these facilities at a cafe located right next to the farms, in the form of salads and juices.
“I came in here for the first time after just passing by for several days. I think it is very nice, that it provides us with oxygen and fresh vegetables within a city.”
Another urban smart farm has also opened at Dapsimni Station, and they will open in 3 other subway locations including Chungjeong-ro Station within this year.
The city government and Farm8 are looking forward to creating more urban smart farms in the long-term, so that people can enjoy crops at lower prices and become more aware of the latest in agricultural technology.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.