The rooftop of a sprawling urban warehouse may not seem like the classic locale for a farm, but a group of urban gardeners in St. Louis is seeing it a different way.
Urban Harvest STL, a group of city residents and gardeners, plans to turn the roof of an 8,000-square-foot warehouse at 1335 Convention Plaza into the city’s first rooftop farm: The Food Roof.
“Our goal is to bring hyper-local, organic food to the surrounding community and downtown,” says Mary Ostafi, who launched the group in 2011. “We want to help the health of the social fabric downtown. We want to build community while growing food.”
The number of community gardens and urban farms in the city has risen in recent years, following a national trend that has seen unused urban pockets transformed into food production. One of the consequences of the trend has been a move upward – to rooftops — especially in areas where land is scarce.
In St. Louis there happen to be plenty of urban spaces where food, in theory, could be grown. But Ostafi says that few of those spaces are downtown.
– By Georgina Gustin