Montreal-based agribusiness, Lufa Farms, just might have the solution we’ve been looking for in the global fight to move towards more sustainable food production practices. Lufa Farms grows produce in greenhouses constructed on top of buildings in Montreal. The food is grown through a water-based practice called hydroponic cultivation and requires little labor, land, equipment, and recycled water.
Now, is it too good to be true? While the start-up costs of urban rooftop farming can be quite expensive, the expense is evened by the low-cost of operation. Furthermore, rooftop farmers are able to produce food year-round while traditional local farmers are restricted to a 24 to 28 week growing season, thereby proving the potential of urban rooftop farming to become a significant source of profit.
In addition to being profitable, urban rooftop farming could be a powerful agent in promoting the movement to buy local produce.
If more rooftop farming is constructed, more varieties of produce could become available and persuade the local population to buy homegrown food.
Moreover, the locally produced food will decrease our carbon footprint created by our reliance on global trade. Rooftop farms can also help conserve energy of the buildings on which the farms rest. Lufa Farms estimates that the company has saved about 25% on heating costs for the building they operate on.
As you will see in the video below, another excellent example of this innovative concept is the RoofTop Farms project in New York, which has been gaining momentum in NYC.