Local Food Hero: Urban Harvest STL
Written by Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Coordinator. Originally published in September 2015.
Their Food Story: Urban Harvest STL transforms forgotten city spaces into productive foodscapes and inspires city dwellers to creatively grow food where they live. Urban Harvest STL built St Louis’s first rooftop farm, the FOOD ROOF Farm, atop a downtown building. The FOOD ROOF Farm provides healthy food to the community, enhances biodiversity in the city, and inspires people to grow their own food and contribute to a more resilient local food system. In addition, the agricultural green roof mitigates up to 17,000 gallons of stormwater per storm event.
A Person Behind the Project: Mary Ostafi, Executive Director and FOOD ROOF Facilitator. Mary is a community activist with a deep interest in urban food projects as a means to grow healthy food as well as sustain a healthy urban social fabric. Mary combined her career in architecture with her passion for urban agriculture to build the FOOD ROOF Farm project. She has transitioned to urban farming full time and leverages her background to focus on building integrated urban agriculture projects. She envisions many more rooftop farms to come!