“Food is the most powerful thing in our lives, it’s the most powerful thing in community development.”
- Will Allen, Growing Power
The momentum from the Downtown Community Garden has activated UHSTL to ‘grow’ our next project, to further develop the local food system, and broaden our reach to offer organically grown, fresh produce to more individuals and families in the community. The garden is a great venue for residents to grow their own food, though not everyone has the time or desire to get their hands dirty and care to a garden plot regularly. A community farm provides the solution.
The FOOD ROOF, as we are calling it, is planned to be a rooftop community sponsored agriculture (CSA) farm. Situated in the heart of downtown, this urban farm will connect city dwellers from all walks of life to an organic-based food system. From growing food to raising chickens and bee-keeping, the FOOD ROOF will be a living demonstration of innovative approaches to urban agriculture and will feature an outdoor classroom and gathering space for community events.
We are bringing the farm to the people, and the people to the farm. Location is key here. There are thousands of residents within blocks who will literally be able to walk to the FOOD ROOF to pick up a share of fresh food from the rooftop. We can bike deliver to the myriad of restaurants on Washington Avenue and nearby charities. It does not get any more local than this.
Our business model has many environmental and social-based benefits, not the least of which is engaging urban schools and local families in the farming process so they can form a relationship with their urban farmer, learn where their food comes from, and become more empowered to care for their health, the health of the local food ecosystem, and the long-term sustainability of our social fabric.
The FOOD ROOF will contribute to the health of our community while providing environmental benefits to our city. This project eliminates the need for produce to clock thousands of environmentally damaging food miles before it gets to the table. Locating a farm on a rooftop also has many environmental benefits such as building energy load reduction, heat island mitigation, storm water management easement, and enhanced biodiversity in the city.
We are developing a hands-on research model to benefit the viability of future regional urban agriculture projects. Our “living laboratory” strategy involves documenting, observing and researching various means and methods of urban agriculture growing techniques that will benefit the next generation of urban farmers. Installations studied will include outdoor vertical farming, container farming, hydroponics, and aeroponics.
FOOD ROOF Location: 1335 Convention Plaza, Saint Louis, MO 63103
Adjacent to the downtown volleyball courts, and one block from the community garden, this project will be an extension to the community amenities already established in the nearby district.
If you are interested in learning more about the FOOD ROOF, would like to get involved, or sponsor the project, please contact us!