Lufa Farms grows more than 25 varieties of vegetables and fresh produce in its rooftop farm in Montreal. This week it began supplying Côte Saint-Luc employees with fresh, organic, delicious vegetables. Food boxes are delivered weekly to city hall for those members of staff who have pre-purchased their vegetables for an extended period.
Good farm land is disappearing fast. It’s either being lost to parking lots and commercial development or is being slowly poisoned by overuse of synthetic pesticides or herbicides. To make matters worse, good forests are being lost in an effort to make more farm land. That’s a lose-lose proposition. There are more mouths to feed and less land to cultivate.
The world’s population continues to grow yet arable farm land continues to diminish. Putting farms on roofs is a way to ‘take back’ arable land lost to development. Lufa’s prototype 31,000 square foot farm will feed approximately 2000 people and provide them with an excellent selection of fresh and nutritious produce. Their future greenhouses will feed more. Every roof in the city could do the same and their farm is meant to prove that it’s possible and viable.
Lufa can deliver produce the same day it is picked. Transport costs are lower, food is fresher, local employment is created, energy costs to the building housing the rooftop farm is cut in half to name but a few important benefits.
This pilot project is the brainchild of the dynamic and innovative Cote Saint-Luc City Manager Tanya Abramovitch who is ably assisted by Tammy McEwen. Tanya’s pioneering vision is to create more space for urban agriculture and to explore a Farmers Market in Cote Saint-Luc. Tammy launched the Lufa Farm idea at City Hall. I applaud Tanya and Tammy’s efforts and believe that this is a good, and healthy, path to follow. I too will pick up my nutritious basket each week and hope that this can quickly spread to more and more Cote Saint-Lucers in the near future.
- Rooftop farms seek to feed Canadian cities’ growing demand for local food (business.financialpost.com)