Posted  27 Sep, 2017 
In: Articles

Originally published August 21, 2017 on

There are plenty of grocery stores out there that sell locally-grown fruits and vegetables in their produce sections. Few take things to the level that one IGA in Canada, however.

Tasked by the local government with putting a green roof on their 25,00 square foot store, the Duchemin family decided to go about as green as a roof can get. They turned it into the largest rooftop garden in Canada.

And yes, they really did design the pathways in the shape of the IGA logo. Why? To grab the attention of air travelers flying in or out of Montreal’s nearby Pierre Elliot Trudeau International.

The certified organic farm grows more than 30 different vegetables, including beets, tomatoes, eggplant, and kale. They’re all grown in dirt, too, not hydroponic grow trays. The store’s dehumidification system pulls excess moisture from the store and delivers to the garden’s irrigation system. It’s the first system of its kind in Canada, according to IGA.

ClCustomers can purchase the hyper local produce in the store’s ‘frais du toit’ — fresh from the roof — section. Vegetables and herbs aren’t the only things produced up there, either. There are also eight beehives which the store says will yield about 600 jars of honey each year.

Coming soon: fresh cut flowers. They’re going to be planted to help keep unwanted insects at bay, but the IGA may eventually start selling them, too.

In addition to providing a creative advertising opportunity and stock for the store’s shelves, owner Richard Duchemin says that the rooftop conversion has also yielded nice energy savings for the store. It’s really quite an amazing project… and hopefully one that helps convince other business owners to capitalize on the eco-friendly opportunity that’s right over their heads.

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