- Mark McDowell
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London Supermarket Grows Its Own Produce on Roof
A North London supermarket is growing organic fruits and vegetables in a rooftop garden tended by 20 volunteers aged from three to their 60s. Thornton’s Budgens calls its project Food from the Sky. The nonprofit venture is a collaboration between Thornton’s Budgens, The Positive Earth Project (a local social enterprise) and the Crouch End community. All proceeds are reinvested in the project, which is designed to inspire the community on the possibilities for urban food growing and reduce the store’s carbon footprint. Produce from the 4,844 SF farm will be sold in the shop below.
Andrew Thornton, who owns the store, said “It’s a farm on top of a supermarket. We as a store are very heavily involved in our community and we are very much behind our local food and this is as local as you can get. We are hoping that people will take the idea forward and grow their own food in their gardens and allotments.” According to Azul-Valerie Thorne of the Positive Earth Project, the roof garden has an extremely low carbon footprint since most of the components – such as composters and planters – were donated. “There is a lot of produce waste (in the shop) that we are bringing up to the roof and we are transforming this into compost. We are planning to collect rainwater to water our plants,” she said.