Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Did you know that the city of Montreal recently broke a world record? This past August, the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse was unveiled on this very island! It’s owned by Lufa Farms, a Canadian-based company whose goal is to make the food in cities more sustainable. They have four rooftop greenhouses around the city. This latest one is as large as three standard football fields and can feed 2% of the urban population! That may not sound like a big number, but that’s enough for about 20,000 families every week!
Urban agriculture could be a potential way to reduce the carbon footprints of cities. One of the biggest reasons our food contributes to our emissions is because it’s grown so far away, especially when you live in a city. When your food is grown locally, less fossil fuels have to be burned to get it to your grocery store.
Rooftop farms also make the building they’re living on more sustainable! Greenhouses especially can take advantage of the heat that buildings produce from so much energy use. Usually, all the heat that we generate from using electricity radiates from the building and is lost to the air. However, rooftop greenhouses take advantage of that heat and trap it to grow food instead of warming the atmosphere! Not only that, but then the building won’t need to use as much energy for heating in the winter. It's a win-win!
Lufa farms also irrigates their rooftop greenhouses with recovered rainwater and water that has leaked from the buildings’ taps. So they save water that the building normally loses, and they save water that would otherwise need to be pumped in to irrigate their crops. They also use bumblebees, wasps, and ladybugs to pollinate their plants and serve as natural pest control. How cool is that?!
This world-record-breaking addition to our city has inspired other cities around the world to do the same! Rooftop greenhouses are popping up in Chicago, Denver, New York, and Paris!
Here are some links for more info about this greenhouse and Lufa Farms!