Do you still remember what a real tomato looks like, smells like and tastes like? If it wasn’t for my frequent trips to Lebanon, I’d have forgotten a long time ago. I got used to the idea that veggies and fruits are tasteless in Montreal (except apples). I mostly blamed the weather; with these conditions everything must surely be imported. I was, as I often am, wrong. Turns out there is a vibrant and large community of local farms in Quebec. A very serious system of organic certification for food producers in the province and country is in place. I will leave the details for another post, but http://www.quebecvrai.org and http://www.ecocert.com are good places to start.
One specific farm stood out from the others. A unique concept with a grandiose vision for cities around the world. Imagine living in a city where each neighborhood has it’s own year-round farm. You get fresh organic produce & close to zero transport costs. The idea is simple, the implementation not so much. Next time you pass next to Marche Central on l’Acadie, try to notice the huge glass structure sitting on top of a building. That’s Lufa farms, the first commercial rooftop farm in the world. They are still not considered 100% organic since they use natural gas for heating in winter and hydroponics for growing the plants. Nonetheless, they are believers in sustainable farming and are constantly improving and refining the science behind the farm.
Since I’ve been a subscriber with Lufa, I receive a basket with around 8 types of seasonal (and not so seasonal) vegetables and sometimes fruits every week. The simple fact that these vegetables hit my crisper a couple of hours after they have been harvested is amazing since I live in the city. My fridge smells like nature all the time and I have never felt closer to my inner-cow. So my question to you is, why are you still buying your vegetables from a normal grocery store? If we can contribute to making Lufa a successful model, it would change the face of the city and be replicated in other cities. So go to Lufa, pick a drop-off point next to you and start enjoying real vegetables for a change! (No, I don’t work for Lufa).
Now that I figured out how to get healthy vegetables into my house, the next food blog posts will be about finding organic animal based produce. Stay tuned!