The first rooftop farm can be found in Montreal, Quebec. Owned and cultivated by a company called Lufa Farms, this 31,000 square-foot rooftop space can hardly be detected above the downtown bustle. There, high above Montreal’s busy streets and buildings, sit slowly growing carrots and sun-ripened tomatoes. Founded by Mohamed Hage, the farm is gaining a lot of attention from health-conscious Montrealers and future urban farmers alike.
Today, most of the produce grown on industrial farms is discarded and “chosen for their toughness and transportability and not their taste.” If a simple tomato can’t make the trip from a Midwestern farm to the Northeast because it’s not tough enough, that tomato will be added to a rotting red heap.
Hage wants to change the way the world looks at produce. Lufa Farms sells all of the produce grown in its rooftop greenhouses. But Hage’s main interest is in education.
By traveling and speaking to groups of eager urban farmers, Hage’s message is beginning to spread. Rooftop farming has now grown well out of Montreal’s skyline and into bigger cities like Chicago and New York–cities that seem well out of the sustainable food scope.