EcoBrooklyn, as a green builder is not only involved with green construction, but also with other ways of incorporating environmental issues into our work. As food awareness increases, green contracting has the potential to provide us with produce that is organic and as local as you can get. Green roofs currently serve all kinds of functions; including reducing runoff, and cooling a house in summer, among others. But why not use green roofs to grow some of our food? EcoBrooklyn’s green roof currently has some strawberries, but what other kinds of produce would work for a green roof?
Plants growing in green roofs need to have shallow roots and be relatively drought resistant. Green roof beds are typically only 4 inches deep, so this is important to consider when planting. Many vegetables have much deeper roots than 4 inches. However, many herbs may be good alternatives. Herbs like thyme, oregano, lavender, creeping rosemary, and mint are all good choices. Be careful of mint and oregano, because both are known to spread uncontrollably if under the proper conditions.
Growing herbs, fruits, or vegetables can provide all kinds of benefits. Even if you are growing less edible herbs like lavender, they can still make your whole rooftop garden smell amazing. Growing herbs can save you a ton of money, and fresh herbs are always better than what you buy in the store. You also have the option of growing fruits and vegetables in pots on your roof. Some good choices might be tomatoes, peppers, chives, beans, onions, or lettuce.
If you want to know more about the potential of rooftop farming, there is plenty going on in Brooklyn. Both Brooklyn Grange and Eagle Street Rooftop Farm produce a variety of vegetables. However, it is important to remember that these green roofs are much deeper than many buildings can support. For more information go to http://www.brooklyngrangefarm.com/, and http://rooftopfarms.org/
Picture Courtesy of http://rooftopfarms.org/