rooftop city garden
Architecture is almost as old as food. And it might even be as complex. One makes the physical setting of our lives, the other makes our physical selves - and both generate some of humankind’s greatest environmental impacts.
Like the green building movement, you might have noticed that the local food movement has grown rapidly in recent years. I don’t suppose I need to extol the reasons for gardening, but a reminder: minimal energy used for growing, no energy used for transport or storage, low cost, high quality, no pesticides or herbicides, and the ability to control exactly what is grown and how. The pleasure of fresh and delicious in an era of supermarket tasteless... an awareness of the seasons and a closer intimacy with the cycle of life.
A city garden utilizes ground that is already biologically compromised. This reduces the demand for farmland, leaving a little more room for native prairie and the spotted owl. My wife and I are fortunate to have a rooftop space in which I have been able to test a city garden. This is a terrace on top of a four-story, 36-unit apartment building in a highly urban environment. The roofs all around are nothing but a barren wasteland. All of the plants are being grown in containers, kitchen scraps and newsprint are being composted.