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Grow towers at the library!

à la carte logo



For those of you who have been to North Gloucester branch recently, you may have spied a futuristic looking tower filled with greens. Wondering what it is? Our very first grow tower!



What are Grow Towers?

In short, Grow Towers are standalone hydroponic systems that can grow leafy greens and tender herbs.


Why is the library growing food?

The grow towers are part of “à la carte”, our food literacy project. We have partnered with Growing Futures, a social enterprise that was developed by the Parkdale Food Centre (PFC), to host five grow towers in branches across the city (soon to come).

You may already have seen these towers in Ottawa community centres, elementary schools, and even at City Hall. The purpose of the Growing Futures initiative is to bring local businesses, partners and community members together to foster a healthier, more financially resilient next generation.


Who takes care of the grow towers?

Teams of harvesters take care of the grow towers.

The harvesters are a group of people (children, teens or adults) who agree to grow, harvest, and sell the Grow Tower’s produce, giving half the proceeds to the Parkdale Food Centre to sustain the social enterprise as well as benefiting local food banks.


How does this project benefit the community?

Growing Futures is an opportunity for community members to learn about growing food, starting a business, donating to charity, and getting involved in their local community.

We’ve already seen benefits at North Gloucester branch, too, as customers of all ages ask questions, learn about growing, and become excited to watch the project unfold.


Stay tuned as more towers will be popping up in our branches in the next few months.



à la carte
is funded by the Government of Ontario 


Who eats the food?

Hi mouseofvirtue3,
The harvesters, the group of people who agree to grow, harvest, and sell the produce will be making those decisions. Currently, the greens produced at North Gloucester branch are donated to the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

I had the pleasure of working at the North Gloucester branch recently and I was very impressed with how much growth there was after only a few weeks. I'm wondering if there may be plans to install additional towers at other branches? This is such a wonderful resource, and a great way to start a conversation about individual and communal food sources.