A brand-new Gwynedd food producer is thriving thanks to its innovative way of growing produce without soil. Tyfu’r Tyddyn, based in Llanbedr produces micro greens using vertical or hydroponic farming, supplying the local restaurant and catering trade.
With support from Menter Môn’s Tech Tyfu scheme, Tyfu’r Tyddyn was launched by chartered surveyors Jodie Pritchard and Helen Bailey just four months ago. They both enjoy growing vegetables and wanted to learn more about hydroponics. They ventured into vertical farming so that they could enjoy microgreens at home and experience first-hand what running a small food production and supply business involved. Their aim then is to use this experience to share with their clients.
In a short time, they have seen the new business grow from strength to strength, listing several restaurants and pubs in the area as well as the Old Cheese Market Deli in Harlech amongst their customers.
Helen Bailey, one the founders of Tyfu’r Tyddyn said:
“As part of our day job with chartered surveyors’ Baileys and Partners, we have a reputation for providing proof of concept when we advise our clients, we wanted to do the same with vertical farming. We knew of vertical farms in other areas of the UK but were not aware of any here in north Wales. When we heard of the Tech Tyfu project we were excited about the prospect of being able to take part and tell clients our story. We have used a redundant barn which shows that traditional buildings can have a modern farming use.
“The microgreens we grow include radish, pea shoots, sunflowers, broccoli and kale. All our customers are within 4 miles of our premises and we’ve proved that there is a demand for microgreens in the area. We often find ourselves struggling to keep up with demand – delivering to the Old Cheese Market we sometimes sell out even before we reach the door with customers waiting for us.”
Tech Tyfu itself was launched as a pilot scheme in March 2020, to encourage farmers and growers in north west Wales to think about innovative ways of producing crops. The first in north Wales, the scheme has since developed and secured funding to create a Pioneer Hub for Tech Tyfu at M-SParc science park in Gaerwen, Anglesey.
Luke Tyler is the Tech Tyfu project officer at Menter Môn. He said:
“I’m delighted to see Jodie and Helen do so well with their micro greens and pleased that our Tech Tyfu scheme has helped them set up the new business.
“As well as the diversification potential we think vertical farming could also allow farmers and growers to reach new high value markets in some of the many restaurants we have across north Wales. As we become more aware of the need to reduce our impact on climate and natural resources – developing local supply chains and innovative ways of producing food will become even more important.”
Tech Tyfu is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.