Learn how to build a garden or rooftop farm with Annie Novak’s book, “The Rooftop Growing Guide.” (Credit: Annie Novak)
Annie Novak, author of ‘The Rooftop Growing Guide,’ on urban gardening and rooftop farming
By Meredith Deliso
Chatting with the author of ‘The Rooftop Growing Guide’
Tips on how to get your own green space started
If you’ve ever wanted to turn your barren backyard or empty rooftop into a green space for fresh veggies, herbs and flowers, Annie Novak has you covered.
The co-founder of the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint and manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden is also behind the new book, “The Rooftop Growing Guide” ($23, Ten Speed Press), a how-to in green roofs, container gardening, crop planning, pest management, harvesting and more.
“I remember thinking when I was asked to help start the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm that there was a book missing,” Novak says, who had to navigate legal and safety issues to implement her farming knowledge on a rooftop. “If you want to see a good idea spread, you have to teach people how to do it. My hope with this book was that everyone who has a question mark gets to a place where they have an exclamation point. They can get excited about what they want to do.”
Curious? Novak shares her tips for getting started:
Get permission first
“Permission is the first thing, and often the step that’s skipped,” Novak says. “If you’re going to invest the time and money in a space, you need to make sure it’s all right.”
According to a recent study by EU rooftop gardens could grow three quarters of city’s vegetables. In recent years urban gardening, agriculture and farming have been growing globally. The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a good example of community garden program that has turned into a vibrant resource for the local community.
The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden was originally an overgrown, abandoned piece of railway land used as an unofficial landfill site. It received funding from London Development Agency and was finalised in eight month during 2010. Important aspects of the project was to provide opportunities for volunteers and its design and construction offered apprenticeship schemes for local people. It has won awards like Hackney Design Award 2010, Sustain Magazine 2010 Winner – Public Realm, Commended London Planning Awards 2010 – Community Scale Project.
Urban gardening is becoming more and more popular each year, as city dwellers come up with new and innovative ways to use the little outdoor space they have to grow gorgeous vegetable or flower gardens. Even if you don’t have a large yard with plenty of open space, or if you live in an apartment with either a balcony or no outdoor space at all, you can start a productive and easy to manage garden using containers, temporary raised beds, hydroponics or small space gardening techniques. You can even produce your own organic fertilizer using small home composting systems.
While urban gardening used to be considered a radical idea, cities around the country are starting to embrace the concept as they realize the positive effects it has on beautifying urban areas, cleaning the air, and giving people more control over their food source. For example in Los Angeles, it became legal in 2015 for anyone to plant a garden along unused land in between sidewalks.
Gardening in the city may sound like an intimidating prospect, but it is easy to set up your own urban garden. We have put together this easy guide on how to start your very own organic urban garden on any budget, no matter how little space you have.
En 60 jours, il est passé de quelques graines à un potager bio hyper productif en permaculture
Par Mathieu Doutreligne
Dans l’agitation de notre vie quotidienne, l’idée de faire pousser ses propres légumes semble impossible. L’histoire et les photos qui suivent vous prouveront le contraire et vous donneront la motivation nécessaire pour réaliser vos rêves.
TRANSLATION: In the bustle of daily life, the idea of growing your own vegetables seems impossible. The story and photos below prove the opposite and offer you the motivation to achieve your dreams.
Si les autorités le permettent – If the authorities accept it.
The green roof installed at Toronto’s Mountain Equipment Coop in 1998 it was one of the first of its kind- the extensive lightweight planting of low-maintenance, smaller native plants. It was not designed to be looked at; the only way you can get to it is via a ladder and a roof hatch, and the only people who can see it are in the new condos surrounding the store now. It was a nice touch, but nobody knew what a revolution in building design it was the start of.
There really is no reason that ground, walls, balconies and roofs cannot all feed us, provide habitat for wildlife, shade and cool our buildings, and provide feedstock for our furnaces and electrical generators. There is no reason that our own waste can’t be digested on site and provide compost for the farm. There is no reason that our buildings cannot provide employment for people living in them, growing the food that others in the building can then have for dinner.
This is the future of green living building, it’s not walls, roofs or garden; it’s everywhere.
Dr Sara Wilkinson tends a tomato crop on a rooftop above Broadway at UTS. Photo: Peter Morris
Rooftops offer a viable and sustainable space for growing edible produce
by Robin Powell
What if the greens you need for tonight’s dinner were grown on the roof of the office where you work? From a cook’s perspective this is a dream – fresh produce and no time wasted on shopping. And the advantages of urban farming extend way beyond the wellbeing of the time-poor consumer. Produce farmed on urban rooftops also contributes to reducing the heat island effect of cities, lowering summer temperatures and minimising the carbon footprint of food.
Rooftop vegetable gardens increase urban biodiversity; decrease stormwater run-off; offer psychological benefits to those involved with the garden and with fellow gardeners; and can even protect and extend the lifetime of the roof.
Interest in green roofs is growing like dandelions in spring: the City of Sydney reports an average of one development application a week for a green roof or wall. Already, 100,000 square metres is given over to green roofs across the city, and Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the City is doing all it can “to introduce more of these features into our urban landscape”.
Yet few are food producing. Sydney’s environmental conditions suggest an urban harvest could contribute significantly to food production. The city of Toronto, for instance, which is under snow for three or four months of the year, estimates that 10 per cent of its fresh food could be grown within the city limits.
Being An Urban Gardener, Get Advantages To Container Gardening
By Incog Nito
Get Advantages To Container Gardening
Whether it’s to save money, an act of preparedness, or simply an incredible pastime, container gardening is a versatile and wonderful method of growing food for you and your household.
Container gardening is a simple method to garden, specifically when you do not have backyard area. With the increasing expenses of food and people having less to invest, increasingly more of people are amusing the concept of growing our own. Not all of us are lucky sufficient to live on a farm or have lots of acreage in the countryside. Numerous people keep an eye out of the window just to see the cement and brickwork jungle of the suburban or city spread.
Advantages Container Gardening:
You conserve a lot of money!
Its a great, gratifying and enjoyable pastime
Your food tastes So much better, and is more healthy and nutritious
You are less depending on grocery stores
Your home is transformed into a wonderful green Eden
You understand your food is not laced with pesticides and chemicals
You’ll get a much healthier and calmer way of living, and be more in-touch with nature
It’s a wholesome, instructional and exceptional activity for the children
You acquire important understanding and life-skills
Growing your very own food significantly lowers your carbon footprint