Canadian Grocery Store Grows Its Own Organic Veggies on Rooftop

Grocery store takes “local” to the next level, one story above the produce section

IGA is the first grocery store in Canada to sell veggies from its own roof.

More than 30 kinds of organic produce are grown on the 25,000-square-foot roof=top farm, including heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, radish, kale and basil.

Required by the Montreal borough of Saint Laurent to install a green roof to offset carbon emissions, store co-owner Richard Duchemin decided to make the project profitable by growing plants he could sell in the produce section downstairs.

“People are very interested in buying local,” he told The Montreal Gazette. “There’s nothing more local than this.”

That’s great news considering produce is often shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, losing up to half it’s nutritional value by the time they hit the store shelf.

The garden is irrigated with water collected from the store’s dehumidification system, which would otherwise have been discarded, and the roof has become a habitat for birds and insects.

The green roof also reduces the store’s electricity consumption by providing an extra layer of insulation.