Rooftop gardening and farming has become a new and exciting way to go green, bring sustainability to urban areas and change the way we look at our major cities. For over a decade there has been a push to grow locally and design more sustainable and green products and services. During this time, there has been a shift in the population moving into urban centers. In urban centers real estate is very expensive and often hard to find. By turning our rooftops into green spaces we are bringing nature back into our cities.
Rooftop gardening can range from gardening for aesthetic purposes to ecological and financial reasons. It can also include rooftop farming which could be as simple as a greenhouse or converting the entire roof into a green space. Properly engineered green rooftops help floodwater drain more slowly into the water system. This new trend is also great for cooling the entire building in the summer, saving companies money and offering different types of programing for our diverse communities. Rooftop gardening and farming has taken many major cities by storm, and they are all taking unique steps to this new approach.
Their commitment to a new, locally grown life is not without its partnership with local bakeries and makers that allow you to choose from a vast product list. It is as simple as signing up online, choosing your pick-up point and customizing your order!
Montreal, Canada is a busy city and home to Lufa Farms, a company that is dedicated to creating a “local food engine.” They currently have several sprawling green rooftops that produce a large range of vegetables and herbs. Lufa Farms makes sure that the food coming into your home has been grown while conserving water and energy, composting and using biocontrols to deal with pests. Their commitment to a new, locally grown life is not without its partnership with local bakeries and makers that allow you to choose from a vast product list. It is as simple as signing up online, choosing your pick-up point and customizing your order!
In the photo: Rooftop Greenhouses Photo Source: Lufa Farm
Related Articles: “Innovations in Food Production – An Urgent Awakening” by Alessandro Boozing & “Historic Urban Spaces -Exploring Toronto’s Distillery District” by Mara Finkelstein
In Berlin, Eat Your Roof is teaching companies and individuals what it takes to have your own rooftop garden and what produce you can expect to reap. This is a fantastic endeavour that makes rooftop gardening more common and shows people that it is a manageable project for anyone.
Next is London, where they are taking a look at redesigning aesthetically pleasing rooftop garden spaces. Garden Club London is a company that combines design with urban and rooftop gardening, planting and even living walls. They have an extremely impressive portfolio and can help you be green by changing any area into that of a lush garden and beautiful space no matter what the size. Another extraordinary example is that of The Roof Gardens which is a hidden oasis host to a restaurant, club, private bookings and public garden space. Their green space has four distinct sections: Spanish Garden, Tudor Garden, English Woodland and the Wildlife section, which is home to flamingos.
Rooftop gardening and farming has thousands of different practical applications.
I am sure you are wondering about New York City and if they have joined in on this exciting new trend. In fact, they have. Brooklyn Grange is a local rooftop farm that produces vegetables, herbs, eggs and even honey. They sell their produce to local restaurants, in their building’s lobby and at farmers markets. Class trips of children come to learn about healthy living and hundreds of volunteers make them a success. In downtown Manhattan it may be a little more difficult to find a rooftop farm, but there are many hidden rooftop green spaces ranging from restaurants and bars to secret summer hangouts and quiet contemplative spaces.
Rooftop gardening and farming has thousands of different practical applications. Whether it is changing the way we look at the local food market, creating a beautiful nature escape at home or finding a place to hide out in the city, this trend seems to just be catching on. The next time you are looking to get away in some greenery without leaving the city or start to crave locally grown produce from right around the corner, make sure to do your research. It is very likely that there is something for you several stories up.