Thursday, March 26, 2015

Raise it up for Agriculture!

Are you thinking about a garden plan this year? We started sowing some seeds in my basement last weekend for the at grade community garden, and am completely excited about the upcoming season!

I am also excited about the increased interest in edible rooftop gardening in the Midwest.  It takes a special client's vision and the right structural loads, but the concepts of growing herbs, vegetables, and some fruits on our rooftops has become more than a dream for some!

High altitude farming offers many options to meet short and long term goals for my clients.  As we work together to complete feasibility studies, our conversations focus on the roof program. I have a client who wants to grow hops on the roof. This will provide her with a trellis structure and shade for the employees and visitors. She has talked about marketing a beer tasting that will incorporate the mature hops as part of the learning experience for the guests.  AD Greenroof has another client with somewhat limited with structural loads, so we will be planning container gardening in the areas we can have more weight, and simplify other permanent vegetated roof systems in limited dead load areas. Both clients are working to resolve the accessibility to their roofs, and can break the budget on some buildings, but it is important to get safe access for the employees and visitors.

These two examples are just the start of the larger discussions we are starting to have about the management of high altitude agriculture. Use of organic practices, cover crops, honeybees, selecting plants for products, and creating a harvesting area are just the start of some considerations as we finalize the budget. Stay tuned to see if and where these project go and grow!

Use of passive irrigation and straw bales to grow herbs and veggies

Vertical gardening?
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