In Montréal, an IGA grocery store talked about a new project they are doing on the roof according to the Huffington Post. The roof of the store is now a garden that has some 25,000 ft.² and it looks like the IGA logo.
They talked about the produce in a press release, saying that the rooftop garden produces certified organic vegetables and the irrigation water is from the dehumidification system. They are also planning on having eight Alvéole beehives, which will produce around 600 jars of honey this season. In addition, the bees will be effective pollinators.
Customers were interested in supporting local economies and food production. This is now the first Canadian grocery store that is producing its own food by growing it with this type of system. The co-owner, Richard Duchemin, spoke to The Montréal Gazette saying that they decided they would act since there was an interest in the area.
“People are very interested in buying local,” he said. “There’s nothing more local than this.”
Duchemin also feels that other grocery stores may also want to take advantage of this type of system. It can be expanded into any area that relies on fresh food.
“Why don’t supermarkets plant vegetables on their roofs? Some restaurants have little boxes where they grow herbs,” he said. “We pushed it further because we know we’re able to sell what we produce here.”
30 varieties of produce are on the rooftop garden, including tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, radish, kale, and basil. They are somewhat limited in space so they aren’t growing tuber vegetables or fruit trees. They installed the garden along with a company called The Greenline: Green Roof. They also have a LEED Gold certification, which is the highest that any green building can receive for sustainability.
Along with growing plants, the garden also adds insulation to the structure so energy costs are reduced. It requires two people to maintain the garden, one that works full time and another that works half the year.
The progress of this project is being watched carefully by IGA executives, who are hoping to expand on the idea in other franchise locations. Duchemin told APF that producing food on the rooftop is a great way to “care for the environment.” It sounds like a great idea to me!SKM: below-content placeholder