During a summer with fewer than normal vehicles at Stone Road Mall, management decided to bring new life to the top floor of the parkade by turning part into a vegetable garden that supports those in the community who may not otherwise be able to afford fresh produce.
Known as “The Rooftop Garden,” the effort involves 10 planter boxes filled with nutrient-rich soil from the mall’s existing composting program and uses harvest rainwater collected onsite. Once ready the garden’s lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and more are harvested and distributed by The SEED, which works with local organizations that need fresh produce for their meal services.
“There is an immense need right now in Guelph-Wellington for affordable, nutritious food. Innovative solutions like this rooftop garden are important in growing our region's capacity to feed everyone well,” said Madeline Barber, The SEED’s community resource coordinator, in a news release. “We are grateful for this exciting partnership and the many others that make our work possible! It takes a community to feed a community."
So far, the mall’s rooftop garden has grown about 160 lbs of produce for distribution.
With a sustainable community connection growing fast, Stone Road Mall set its sights on growing the initiative for years to come, adds the news release.