Image credit: Food from the Sky
Adam Stein once famously derided high-tech vertical farms as pie in the sky, but I've always liked the idea of growing high value produce on the roofs of stores that sell it. After all, who needs to ship those teeny tiny packages of rosemary around the country? One community project has been doing just that—growing food on the rooftop of an urban supermarket, and they've just picked up a prestigious award for their troubles. Rooftop Garden Gros Food for Store
Food from the Sky rooftop garden—which sits above a Thornton's Budgens supermarket in North London—describes itself as a "world first". Growing vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and herbs using organic methods with children and other members of the community, the project then sells these wares in the supermarket below it every Friday.
Rooftop Farms Proliferate Elsewhere
Of course rooftop farms are proliferating elsewhere too, with some even claiming that rooftop farms could ease Middle East unrest. But whether or not this project really is a world first—or one of a pioneering new trend—hardly seems to matter. The fact is that these folks are growing sustainable, ultra-local produce, and they are providing a much needed connection with nature for inner-city kids.
Permaculture Magazine reports that their efforts are not going unrecognized—with Food from the Sky picking up a much coveted Community Award at the inaugural Pea (Peaople & Environment Achievement) Awards. Here's a neat little slideshow of the first year in action—although you might want to mute the music...