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Canada: Lufa Farms to open second large urban farm this week

Commercial urban farm Lufa Farms is launching a second, larger operation this week in Laval. Located on top of building that also houses a furniture retailer and other commercial tenants, the new greenhouse measures 43,000 square feet. Currently, the company harvests 1,000 to 1,500 pounds of food daily and delivers more than 2,500 baskets of produce per week to drop-off points all over the metropolitan area year-round, with the new farm boosting overall production to an extra 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of food per day. Basic baskets start at $30 per week.

Built in conjunction with the developer Groupe Montoni and Dutch greenhouse manufacturer KUBO, this latest greenhouse is made to be structurally lighter than the first, employing a "positive pressure" system which allows it to keep out insects and produce 30 percent more food per square meter than Lufa Farms' previous greenhouse, and with less energy inputs. In this second operation, the focus will be on tomatoes and eggplants -- veggies that are in high demand and require more particular conditions.

Pictures courtesy of Lufa Farms

Similar to the first greenhouse, the second development uses a hydroponic system to produce vegetables, grown using coconut fiber bags, a lightweight substrate and nutrient-rich fluid, and is irrigated with water that is captured, filtered and recirculated for re-use. The greenhouse is heated with a natural gas system at night, in addition with shade curtains for heat retention, but its location on top of a heated building means that it needs only half of the energy per square foot to grow food compared to a conventional farm on the ground, and without the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Founder Mohamed Hage spoke with about Lufa Farms' vision of sustainable urban farming where the cost of food and the technology required to grow it will be lowered and more easily implemented. Click here for the complete article at

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