NEW ORLEANS — Rouses Market will open an aeroponic rooftop garden atop a store here at the end of the month that will grow parsley, basil and cilantro for sale in the store below.
Rouses, Thibodaux, La., which operates 38 stores, says it is the first grocer in the U.S. to develop its own aeroponic urban farm on its own rooftop, which it calls “Roots on the Rooftop." Aeroponics uses air or mist to grow plants without soil. “This is very cutting edge for urban farming,” said Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses, in a statement.
Chef Louis “Jack” Treuting, Rouses’ culinary director, worked with AMPS here on the rooftop system.”Aeroponics makes sense for the space,” he said. “It is lighter than soil-based operations and the towers recyle water and liquid nutrients through their own reservoirs, so their sustainable.”
Treuting first saw the project as a way to provide fresh herbs for the store’s foodservice department, but then saw the potential to include retail sales. “I knew if our chefs wanted it, so would our customers,” he said.