With the temperatures dipping below -25c for the first time this year, we decided to visit Lufa Farms, a one-of-a-kind rooftop garden in the heart of Montreal. I have to admit, I was excited to get out of the cold and to smell fresh plants once again.

Established in 2010, Lufa Farms builds greenhouses on top of existing buildings to support their growing subscription based clientele’s appetite for fresh, organic food. The greenhouse we visited is located in right near Marché Central in Ahunstic.

When I first walked in, I couldn’t help but to be impressed by the magnitude of the operation. Here I was, standing on top of a building, in a busy urban area, surrounded by growing vegetables.

As our tour guide explained, installing greenhouses on rooftops is very efficient as it allows you to conserve much of the building’s rising heat. On top of that, you’re not using valuable downtown land to maintain a farm!

As we walked through the rows of plants, our guide explained that they use of coconut fibre as a growing medium and recycled rain water to help grow their vegetables. They also refuse to use any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides relying instead on the use of insects. I was really impressed by their understanding of the importance of locally produced organic vegetables and how to grow them.

Mohamad Hage, the company’s founder and CEO, explained his passion for gardening and locally produced food has help grow his business beyond his wildest dreams. They are currently expanding to a 4th location that will produce an additional 5000 heads of fresh lettuce everyday.

Lufa Farms is an amazing operation driven by people that truly care about the quality of locally produced food and building relationships with small local suppliers.

For more information, you can visit their website at www.lufa.com