Lufa Farms launches fourth greenhouse and world’s largest rooftop farm
By Greenhouse Canada
The rooftop commercial operation doubled its production capacity with this new build.
By Greenhouse Canada
Lufa Farms launched their fourth commercial rooftop greenhouse in the borough of Saint-Laurent, Que. this week.
According to the City of Montréal, construction began in September 2019. The greenhouse measures 163,800 square feet—or the equivalent of three football fields—making it the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse.
Lufa Farms says this latest rooftop greenhouse doubles its fresh vegetable production capacity, for a total 300,000 sqft. They began harvesting 10 varieties of tomatoes and three varieties of eggplants on June 26, reaching full production on August 11th. The greenhouse now yields 25,000 lb of produce each week, allowing Lufa Farms to serve more and more Quebec families year-round.
The urban farming operation strives for responsible agriculture practices; growing polyculture with no synthetic pesticides, capturing rainwater, recirculating irrigation water and maximizing energy efficiency using energy curtains, anti-light pollution blackout curtains, double glass on the perimeter and the passive energy savings of simply being on an urban rooftop.
“Growing food where people live is our mission and this greenhouse is an acceleration of that mission, the timing of which couldn’t be any better as we respond to an ever-growing demand for fresh, local, and responsible foods,” says Lauren Rathmell, Co-Founder and Greenhouse Director at Lufa Farms.
Fresh, local, responsible food systems in times of disruption
As the world responded to COVID-19, local food systems proved resilient and essential.
“In March 2020, we saw a doubling of demand from existing and new Lufavores who couldn’t have been more supportive and understanding. It wasn’t easy, but our team worked incredibly hard and rose up to this challenge. Growing food locally on rooftops and sourcing from local farming families allowed us to swiftly adjust and respond to this demand. We saw what the future looks like and it’s all about local and sustainable,” says Mohamed Hage, Co-Founder and CEO of Lufa Farms.
In response to COVID-19, along with enacting stringent safety protocols early on, Lufa Farms launched 7-day service, tripled its home delivery capacity, launched a number of new software tools, and welcomed over 200 new team members, 35 new local farmers and food makers, and 30,000 new Lufavores. “In a span of three months we built and grew what would have normally taken us years. We were experimenting and learning so much and so fast. We started out naive and young but our culture and mission have been our north star. The Lufa team today is a hardened one, more ready and committed to our mission than ever.” says Rathmell.
Lufa Farms built the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse in 2010.
Sources: Lufa Farms and Ville de Montréal