French Post Office staff farm vegetables in office rooftop garden


Something for the weekend: Post Office staff in northern Paris have taken health and wellbeing in the workplace to dizzying new heights by growing their own fruit and vegetables in an office-based rooftop garden.

The 900-square metre rooftop farm, which is surrounded by tower blocks, is manned by approximately 500 postal employees based at the site. The green-fingered staff grow fruit and vegetables, such as lettuces, aubergines and tomatoes, as well as breed chickens at their place of work. The urban farm uses 90 tonnes of earth deposited on the roof to help create the organic workplace oasis.

The Post Office agricultural project is part of a wider government sustainability initiative in Paris, which looks to use rooftops in the capital for farming. The initiative aims to have over 100 hectares of rooftop gardens and planted walls by 2020, with a third of this space dedicated to urban farming.

According to Communaute Facteur Graine, which spearheads the initiative and manages the Post Office’s rooftop farm, it uses old vegetable varieties, such as high-quality tomatoes which do not keep well when travelling long distances.

The initiative’s first harvest, across 32 sites in the French capital, will produce 425 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, 24 tonnes of mushrooms, 30,000 flowers, and contribute to the production of 8,000 litres of beer and 95 kilograms of honey.

Here at Employee Benefits, we are feeling inspired to transform our own London rooftop to an oasis of farming greenery. After all, there’s something quite appealing about not having to join the lunchtime queues to buy a salad, but instead heading upstairs to pick our own…