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Urban Farming with Lufa Farms

The world’s largest rooftop greenhouse rises luminously from an industrial landscape on the outskirts of Montreal. This 160,000-square-foot jewel in the eco-responsible crown of 12-year-old Lufa Farms is at the heart of a production and distribution e-commerce delivering more than 25,000 customizable baskets of produce across the province of Quebec every week. Enthusiastic “Lufavores” can get everything — from organic hydroponic arugula to zucchini, with locally outsourced dairy, meat, fish and pantry staples, as well as ready-made dishes — all from one comprehensive shopping list.

Lufa Farms is just one example of the province’s focus on food quality, autonomy and security. There’s a long history there. Since 1996, the non-profit Aliments du Québec, which has been promoting provincially raised and processed food products, now boasts 22,000 items (including organic ones). Many are found on Ma Zone Québec, a cleverly named, government-sponsored website dedicated to Québec-produced goods. But it’s not just food- focused provincial agencies that promote buying local. Investissement Québec dedicates funds to innovation in food production. A multimillion-dollar infusion earlier this year will see local tables brightened by “Made in Québec” winter strawberries from the balmy vertical greenhouses of Fermes d’Hiver on Montreal’s South Shore. —IVY LERNER-FRANK