Retailer gets roof growth
Supermarket chain Delhaize is testing an urban farm on the rooftop of one of its Brussels-region stores. The set-up, comprising a garden and a greenhouse, will allow customers to buy freshly picked vegetables grown onsite. For this year, it’s greenery such as baby leaf and watercress on offer, while Delhaize is looking to slot the likes of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini into the mix in 2018.
The 360-square-metre farm at the Boondael store in Elsene will be operated by a vegetable gardens specialist, and Delhaize says it plans to open rooftop operations at more stores if the test goes well. The farm will also serve as an educational programme with workshops for schools and other groups starting in 2018.
Earlier this year, French retail giant Carrefour launched a 1,200-square-metre fruit and vegetable garden in Villiers-en-Bière run by students from a local agricultural and horticultural college. The move forms part of the company’s ‘Urban Agriculture’ initiative to develop gardens throughout France.
Carrefour has also signed the ‘Objectif 100 Hectares’ charter and has committed to converting 200 hectares of Parisian urban land to green spaces – a third of which will be dedicated to farming – through to 2020.
Last month, Ikea showed of its Lokal indoor vertical farming project which uses hydroponic farming methods to grow crops in stackable trays under artificial light and climate-controlled conditions.