London – Thornton’s Budgens supermarket in Crouch End, north London, was one of the most sustainable supermarkets in the world, until its untimely end this past March. The most interesting feature of the supermarket was that it actually had a rooftop garden that supplied the store with food.
The rooftop garden was part of a program called “Food From The Sky”, which brought a new philosophy of sustainability to the food industry. Not only was all of the store’s food produced on the roof, but the compost used for the garden was actually made from waste produced by the store.
The market was also heavily involved with teaching the community about urban gardening and permaculture. In fact, each year the market held a number of classes and seminars that were attended by hundreds of people.
“It began with a vision I had four years ago while walking down the streets of London longing for the bounty and beauty of the land of Embercombe, a sustainability centre near Exeter, that I had just left. I started ‘seeing’ orchards on all flat roofs, dangling strawberries, tomatoes, with children and elders learning together. I asked myself, could we bring the land, conscious communities and healthy food to the roofs of London?” co-founder, Azul-Valerie Thome said.