This hidden U of T rooftop farm helps feed the hungry—and could impact how cities eat

Plus, find out how some U of T alumni are keeping the project alive. To feed Toronto, we must import more than 6000 tonnes of food every single day. As a result, more than 30 per cent of Toronto’s environmental footprint is food-related—including the impact of shipping, pesticides and packaging. In fact, Toronto’s food footprint affects the environment even more than its car traffic. And the reliance on imports also comes with a social cost: for those in poverty, fresh, organic produce can be hard to access. But atop an engineering building at the University of Toronto, students are conducting a living experiment in doing food differently: one of the city’s biggest and most innovative food-producing rooftop gardens. For more than eight years, Sky Garden’s student and alumni volunteer farmers have planted, watered, weeded, and harvested produce on the bright, windswept rooftop of U of T’s Galbraith Building. Their yield clocks in at an impressive 500 pounds of fresh, organic produce a year, and they send more than half of it directly to nearby Scott Mission—so that people in need can receive hot meals made with organic, locally grown produce. “The garden takes inanimate concrete and transforms it into […]

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