When shopping at the supermarket, it can be hard to know how far food has traveled before ending up on the shelf. But soon, shoppers at one Belgian grocery store will be able to rest easy knowing that part of the produce selection was cultivated just above their heads. Beginning in the summer of 2017, the Boondael location of the Delhaize supermarket chain will sell fruits and vegetables grown on the building's rooftop, inhabitat reports.
The store is setting aside 3444 square feet for a rooftop greenhouse and open-air plot that will supplement their own inventory. Foods like greens, cherry tomatoes, and eggplants will be grown on site and sold for a lower price than the organic produce that’s also available. (Since the store-grown vegetables are being raised on a rooftop and not in natural soil, they don't get the "organic" label.) Thanks to the greenhouse, the store will be able to continue the initiative into the winter months.
Delhaize will become the first supermarket in Belgium to sell its own roof-grown produce when the plan goes into effect next summer. A few grocery stores stateside have already experimented with the idea: After Whole Foods opened a location in Lynnfield, Massachusetts with a rooftop farm in 2013, it took two seasons for the setup to produce three tons of food.
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