A supermarket in Belgium is launching a new urban agriculture initiative and is set to be the first in the country to grow its own vegetables in a garden and greenhouse on its roof, meaning the products can be picked and on the shelves in no time at all.
The Delhaize supermarket in the Boondael area of Brussels will start selling its homegrown produce from summer 2017. According to inhabitat 320 square metres (3,444 square feet) of roof space will be given over to urban agriculture, split 50/50 between the garden and greenhouse, though the supermarket won’t legitimately be able to claim the vegetables as organic as they won’t be grown in natural soil.
The supermarket doesn’t yet know how much produce they’ll be able to grow, but if successful they plan to role the urban agriculture initiative out to other stores (they have several hundred in Belgium currently).
Céline Fremault, the Brussels Minister for the Environment, told The Brussels Times: “If everyone embraces the idea, as Delhaize has done, we will attain our target of 30% of fruit and vegetable production through urban agriculture, way before 2035, as is currently planned.”
This isn’t the first supermarket to incorporate urban agriculture on-site – this Whole Foods store in Brooklyn has had a 20,000 square feet rooftop greenhouse since 2013.