Lufa Farms, a company that specializes in bringing fresh local produce to cities is now envisioning Boston for some of its rooftop agricultural gardens. Within the next year, the goal for Lufa Farms is to establish a 75,000-125,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse in Boston. In fact, co founder Kurt Lynn, the company chairman, the temporary chief financial officer Dave Furneaux, as well as greenhouse director Lauren Rathmell, are all native Bostonians. This evidently is showing just how much these individuals vision needs to be reflected back on the Hub where they call home.
Last year, this organization opened a $2 Million rooftop farm in the city of Montreal. Atop of a office building, this 31,000 square foot garden facility offers thirty types of vegetables and is the first of three greenhouses that will soon be completed in this Canadian city. In the near future, Toronto, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia are some of the next localities that Lufa Farms seeks to infiltrate and make their presence be known.
So why all of this sheer need for such a local year-round market? Well, as prices for products on the local level have been going up, there has been an increase in the need to purchase crops and other goods from afar; most of the time from another country. To Lufa Farms, this does not seem right, and it must be known that they are not the only innovators looking to promote local products. In fact, as we mentioned in a past blog, there are already plans a new public market near Faneuil Hall that will only sell products that are made or produced within Massachusetts. As the distance and ultimately the time both increase between when a product is being harvested and when it arrives on ones plate, the need for a reality check and immediate change in the status quo is apparent.
Speaking with the Massachusetts Port Authority, Federal Realty Trust and WS Development, Kurt Lynn and the other founder, Mohamed Hage, have thus far raised roughly $10 Million through private funding for Lufa Farms. Going forward these capital intensive projects of building modern greenhouses should continue in Boston over the next four years with the specific locations still being sought out and are yet to be determined. What is already a given, however, is that the first large greenhouse is estimated to cost roughly $5 Million to erect. Within it, local chards, kales and other vegetables will be grown in 12-week intervals and the greenhouse will be in use year round due to its highly technologically controlled environment.
While never using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and the like, Lufa Farms seeks to place their products in the perfect natural situation allowing them to thrive and grow. Once this operation is in full swing, the goods will be collected and sent to various drop off locations throughout the city of Boston where they will be able to be purchased in baskets for $22-$42 per week. We can only be excited for such a positive and healthy spin on how we are collecting and eating our vegetables and thus will be keeping a close eye on all future announcements regarding this!
More Information: Boston Herald