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CAN (QC): Fifth greenhouse will be its most efficient so far, Lufa Farms says

It’s not as seemingly incongruous with the company’s organic mission as the site of the previous Lufa Farms greenhouse, atop a nondescript warehouse in the St-Laurent borough, a cherry-tomato toss away from Place Vertu. At least this latest Lufa urban greenhouse is situated in the veggie-friendly Marché Central, albeit on the roof of the market’s Walmart.

This greenhouse, set to begin sowing vine crops in March for harvesting in May, is Lufa Farms’ fifth. It may not be Lufa’s largest urban garden, at 127,000 square feet. That accolade goes to the St-Laurent borough facility, covering 164,000 square feet (the size of three football fields), which is purported to be the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse. But according to Lufa Farms co-founder Yahya Badran, the Marché Central location — a steel structure with aluminum moldings and double-paned glass walls — will be its most efficient and technologically sound. More importantly, in these wild inflationary times, its vegetable yield should lead to significant cost reduction.

“This is an Ultra-Clima greenhouse, which is far more advanced than a standard greenhouse,” says Badran, also Lufa’s construction director. “With its diffused glass walls and other temperature controls, it will yield approximately 18 to 20 percent more produce than the standard models, which will bring prices down.”

With the addition of the Marché Central greenhouse as well as that at its one indoor garden farm, Lufa will have 550,000 square feet of vegetable-growing space. Like the other venues, this latest is a pesticide-free, hydroponic greenhouse. The company employs about 600 workers at its farms and distribution center and is expected to hire another 40 when the Marché Central greenhouse gets going in March.


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