It makes perfect sense: the urban garden on the roof of a restaurant. Though trailblazer Joe Beef was among the first to turn a stagnant back alley into a picturesque space, many other restaurants have been transforming even the smallest areas available into herb and vegetable gardens to supply their kitchens with some of the absolute freshest, and quite frankly, most environmental and economical produce available during the growing season.
Mile End restaurant Maïs has been working on its rooftop garden project since it opened two years ago. Co-owner and chef Will Cody is at the helm of this endeavour as the man with the green thumbs (or head grower). Danielle Levy, local Nutrition Consultant, plant-based cook, food blogger, photographer and all around food enthusiast, has been kind enough to share her amazing documentation of Cody's progress on Maïs's rooftop garden, from when they began planting in the spring, to what's being harvested now.
On her exceptional blog, Levy describes the project in detail with more photos and information. Here is an excerpt:
Will decided to grow his edible garden on the roof as a way to realize his dream of creating a garden-to-table restaurant in the city. The garden was originally set-up with the facilitation of Santropol Roulant, one of Montreal's leading food security organizations that also works in the area of sustainable food growing. Having grown up in a farming family, Will had a great deal of food-growing knowledge to share, and I learned a lot about the different plants in his garden. Will planted 20+ varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, most of which were heirloom varieties that fruit at different times of the season, ensuring there is always something to harvest. While the garden may not be capable of supplying enough produce to sustain the restaurant's high demand, Will always manages to incorporate some of the fresh fruits of his labour into the dishes at Maïs. Will's rooftop garden serves as inspiration to us urban dwellers who desire to participate in the food growing process, and who care about the quality and sustainability of the food we consume.
[All photos: Danielle Levy]