A Bite of St. Louis’ First Rooftop Farm: Urban Harvest
Founded in 2011, visionary Mary Ostafi pulled off no small feat: she led the development of St. Louis’ first rooftop farm, in the middle of Downtown, on Convention Plaza. At a whopping 8,500 square feet in size, the project required a team of landscape architects, engineers, urban farmers, volunteers and more for the project to work. Ostafi also spent roughly a year negotiating the building lease alone. What began as one large urban rooftop garden in 2011 has sprouted into six separate gardens and a full-fledged nonprofit organization, taking the name Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest also developed several community gardens and a hydroponic garden, ensuring the initiative remains on the cutting-edge of urban farming and sustainability practices. Further, the organization abides by the principle that healthy, organic food should not come at such a high price: instead, much of the food gets distributed to populations in need, who are least likely to receive it. Last year alone, Urban Harvest grew 5,154 pounds of organic food over six urban farm sites across the city and delivered 2,428 meals to families in need.
If you’re on the hunt for a new volunteer opportunity or community gathering space, this just may be your new passion. Get acquainted with the space at Urban Harvest’s FOOD ROCKS! Concert, Saturday, May 19.
1335 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO, 63103
Image courtesy of Urban Harvest.