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Grocer launches rooftop garden for hyperlocal produce


If Fortnum’s can keep bees on its roof and sell the hyperlocal honey they produce, it stands to reason that other purveyors of food should be able to make the most of their rooftops in a similar way. Enter London grocer Thornton’s Budgens, which just began selling organic produce grown in a rooftop garden of its very own. Dubbed Food from the Sky, the rooftop garden project is a collaboration between Thornton’s Budgens, The Positive Earth Project and the local community. In late May, a crane lifted up the necessary materials onto the roof of Budgens’ Crouch End store, including 10 tonnes of compost, fencing, trees and over 100 pallets. The project is collaborating with the heritage seed library to grow a number of endangered species of food; it also plans to run food growing workshops on the roof and provide seeds from the harvest free of charge to residents and schools. The garden’s first organic fruits and vegetables just went on sale in Budgens, all grown and harvested by volunteers. All proceeds from the not-for-profit venture will be put back into the project; plans for the future include the addition of chickens and top bar bee hives. As urban areas continue to sharpen their focus on sustainable and local production, it’s not hard to imagine food retailers large and small setting up rooftop farms of their own, buoyed also by consumers’ love for a good still-made-here story. Other grocers around the globe: what about you? Spotted by: via Maria Dahl Jørgensen



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