Monday, April 27, 2009

Roof Top Gardening

I've been meaning to mention this for a few weeks. National Geographic for May 2009 has an excellent article on roof top garden. In the U.S., Chicago especially, there has recently been a major push to install roof top gardens, especially on governmental buildings. While this idea sounds revolutionary to many people here, in Europe, especially Germany, roof top gardens have been popular since the 60s. Canada is also having a large influx of roof top projects. There is a hotel in Vancouver that has a garden that produces almost $16,000 worth of produce and honey each year. They grow everything from herbs to apple trees. Yes, apple trees! they are the cool French kind that are trained to grow flat against a trellis. Imagine if more place had gardens on their roof. How much less money and waste would be spent on shipping stuff from here to there, and how much fresher the produce would be! Could you imagine a city where all the roofs were covered in lush grasses, wild flower meadows and rows of sun ripening tomatoes, beans, peppers, onions, carrots, herbs and fruit? From an airplane it would look like a giant garden with the streets many stories below looking like the walk paths. Fresh produce would be readily available and the heat island effect of cities would be greatly reduced, as well as storm water run off that currently washes all kinds of pollutants into our waterways. These oasis also provide habitats for displaced bugs, birds and native plants. In some areas the country side is already so developed that without these pockets of urban green spaces, entire species would be on the endangered species list. I can't wait to get my little patch here in Philly growing and encourage others to put to use that wide open, wasted space, that most people think is only for keeping your house dry.
I wonder if there are regulations on having a honey bee hive in the city....

No comments: