Take a look inside this Montreal restaurant's basement farm

Published: 16 August 2023

A restaurant in Montreal's Southwest borough is taking a more direct interpretation of "farm to table," growing much of their produce in the basement, refurbished with cooling, lighting, and humidity systems.

Café Monk co-owners Peter Simard and Eric Pineault call the refurbished bunker Ferme Fortuna. Since building the farm during the pandemic, when produce prices were spiking and stock was unreliable, they've used the farm to supplement the menu and sell the surplus to nearby restaurants.

Xiaonan Lu, a professor at McGill's Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, told CTV News that Ferme Fortuna is an excellent example of sustainable, urban farming, adding he hopes to see more farms of its kind in the city.

"Our food supply chain, from one perspective, is very fragile," he said. "It is susceptible to the climate, wars, or … transportation [problems]."

He said urban farms like Fortuna are ways to "enhance the security of the food supply to local residents."

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