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TSF 22: Kate Hofman – Urban Farmer

Kate Hofman is an urban farmer. Kate founded GrowUp in 2013 to build sustainable commercial urban farms growing food for local markets. GrowUp is now developing London’s first commercial aquaponic farm.

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If you had a 25th hour each day, what would you do?
Spend it at my allotment.

What’s your daily uniform?
We have a fairly strict no nakedness policy in our office.

Why does your job matter to you?
Because we need to change the food system to grow food for people who live in cities in a way that is better for the environment and for local communities.

When you have a daily work slump, how do you snap out of it – tips?
Fresh air, a cup of tea and Uttanasana (the yoga pose where you do a forward bend and either hold your elbows or put your hands on the floor). And making sure I’ve taken good breaks from my laptop. When you have a daily work slump, how do you snap out of it – tips? Fresh air, a cup of tea and Uttanasana (the yoga pose where you do a forward bend and either hold your elbows or put your hands on the floor). And making sure I’ve taken good breaks from my laptop.

How did you achieve your current role?
I decided to quit my job as a management consultant and set up my own business because I felt that now was the best time to try something completely different and create something from nothing. Then I worked really really hard for 2 years to get to where I am today!

What would you have told yourself five years ago?
Keep learning as much as you can from what you’re doing at the moment because you never know when those skills and experiences will be useful again in the future.

Favourite hotel?
The Pig near Bath!

Wish list of trip destinations?
Japan and New Zealand

Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver?
Sinead Mac Manus: www.fluency.io

How can women help each other in the work place?
The same way anyone can help each other in the workplace – by being compassionate, professional and respectful.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
An archaeologist. Or maybe own a café with a bookshop attached to it.

What lessons has your work life taught you?
1) If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’ll always be right. 2) Taking responsibilities for your actions and behaviour is empowering and allows you to get so much more done!

Who would you invite to your perfect dinner party (dead or alive)?
Arthur Miller, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, Ariana Huffington and my mum.

If you could introduce a new subject/course to the national curriculum, what would it be and why?
Agriculture! Learning about food production is the best way to get people to make healthy and sustainable choices about the food the buy and eat.

What are you most proud of?
Raising £1.1 million in investment for my business to build something that I hope will have a positive impact on the world.

What should someone expect to earn in your field?
When you work for a start-up there’s no set pay scale – and for most people you can expect a period of bootstrapping when you’re basically working for free (putting in sweat equity) and trying to get to the point where your business can pay you a salary – any salary!!

Who do you wake up to?
Classic FM and my boyfriend snoring

What is your guilty pleasure?
Pickles. Anything pickled.

Ask a question to the next inspiring, working Three Six Fiver.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and what did you learn from it?

Learn more about Grow Up Urban Farms here and follow on twitter.