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Rooftop garden being planted in downtown St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - To make a transformation you usually start from the ground up. But this one started from the top down.

“This is the water barrier for the roof this membrane right here this is basically a root barrier so that when the plants grow they're not penetrating into the membrane and this keeps the water out of the downstairs,” says Greg Garbos, Four Season Tool.

The building at the corner of 14th and Delmar is home to a three-story storage facility that Thursday morning began a transformation from a regular rooftop to an urban farm.

“This is the first of its kind in the United States. There's nothing like this at all, with the storm water holding underneath, and the food roof above it,” says Anthony Mayer, CEO Hanging Gardens.

The food roof is from the minds at Urban Harvest STL.

They're leasing the space to provide urban agriculture to downtown residents. Plastic systems will allow up to four inches of rainwater to collect, water crops and evaporate instead of filling area storm sewers.

In the next two weeks, they'll begin planting in beds along a 10,000 square-foot rooftop, transforming it into an urban oasis.

“I think we're at a tipping point in agriculture where we need a lot of solutions and creative thinking and people are starting to care about their food,” Garbos says.

It’s possible this is where some might learn some new lessons in urban farming from some old structures.

“Abandoned buildings…and they are going up, and a lot of the pre-1940 buildings can handle the weight, because they were designed for additional floors or just built better,” Mayer says.

Just maybe, to build a better garden, you'll have to climb three flights of stairs first.