Rooftops take urban farming to the skies

Short on space? Grow your own local, sustainable food against a city skyline



Eagle Street Rooftop Farms

Farming brings urbanites closer to the food they eat and, when executed correctly, can also address some of a city’s most pressing eco-challenges.
By Marisa Belger

For the majority of my life in New York City, the words “urban agriculture” meant nothing more than a collection of chipped ceramic pots clustered together on a fire escape. I spent years tending to (then ignoring) those pots, which housed a variety of struggling herbs. Wilting basil, dried-out Italian parsley and undernourished lavender — I had it all.

I heard rumors of New Yorkers with flourishing vegetable gardens in their backyards, but I personally knew of no such folks and even if I did, nothing said they would be willing to share. Each week I tried to hit my local green market, filled with food grown in upstate New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but when I missed it, I hung my head in shame and continued to buy my overpriced — and often imported — organic produce from Whole Foods and the like.
I looked for better options for fresh, superlocal organic fruits and veggies, but unless the city volunteered to give up part of Central or Prospect Park for farming, my city simply didn’t have the space. Until somebody smart looked up.
Thinking outside the box
New York City may lack wide-open spaces, but it’s rich in rooftops. Every building has one. And most of those do nothing more than bake in the summer sun and freeze in the icy winters. Sure, rooftops serve a basic function — to keep the elements from raining down upon a building’s inhabitants and to help maintain the structural integrity of the edifice — but what if roofs were multifunctional?
Recognizing the unexpected potential of untouched rooftops is how Lisa Goode makes her living. She and her partners (including her husband Chris) are experts at turning unfinished black rooftops into green oases. And though her company, Goode Green, focused on green roof design and installation of the nonedible variety, she and Chris had been growing their own food for four years and were nurturing a growing interest in urban farming.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Ben Flanner, a former E-Trade marketing manager looking to get into the NYC farming scene. Flanner reached out to Goode Greene and they then connected him with Annie Novak, a seasoned farmer and gardener who had worked with the New York Botanical Garden and throughout the green market system. They secured the rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (the top of Broadway Stages, a stage and lighting company), and Rooftop Farms was just 200,000 pounds of soil away from being born.
The 6,000-square-foot farm — which grew more than 30 different crops in its first season — satisfies Novak’s desire to bring people closer to the source of the food they eat. “Food comes from not only a plant, but a place,” Novak explains. “The food system in America is about packaging, and I’m interested in food that comes from the source with no packaging, where its value is its face value. We’ve lost the sense that good, nutritious food doesn’t have to come in a box. And the more we connect to our food, the more likely we are to become true environmentalists. We’ll understand that food that’s healthy for our bodies is also protecting our watershed and our air.”
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The foundation of Rooftop Farms (the plural is aspirational) — six inches of lightweight soil made from clay and expanded shale — was hoisted to the roof with cranes and has resulted in some serious produce. “The plants have done really well, and that was a huge surprise considering the shallow soil, windy conditions and full sun,” Novak says. The farm produced a serious bounty, including a variety of salad greens, radishes, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplants, with an emphasis on heirloom varieties that are usually too fragile to be shipped to other locations — a key benefit of eating local. The produce is sold to an internal farm (“it’s great when you see where things are grown,” Novak says) as well as to a handful of local Brooklyn restaurants. The winter lineup includes kale as well as mini pumpkins and small squash — the diminutive versions are chosen because Flanner makes all of the farm’s deliveries by bicycle. Video: Growing a fall veggie garden
Added benefits
Rooftop farming brings urbanites closer to the food they eat and, when executed correctly, it can also address some of a city’s most pressing eco-challenges. “I had never done a project on a roof and the idea really excited me,” says Novak. “It’s a whole new angle on environmentalism.”
This new approach to tackling eco-issues has already proven effective in two key areas: decreasing storm water runoff and reducing cooling costs. Rooftop farms and other green roofs help to reduce combined sewer overflow, or CSO, which is water pollution that occurs after soggy weather like big rainfalls or snowmelts.
According to Storm Water Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.), a coalition dedicated to ensuring sustainable storm water management throughout New York City, each year 27 billion gallons of wastewater is dumped into area creeks, rivers and bays during wet weather — including 2 billion gallons of raw, untreated sewage. “One of the main benefits of green roofs is that it captures storm water,” Goode explains. “The six inches of soil takes in two inches of rainfall — with this one building we’re almost stopping all the rainwater that would run off it.”
And though uninitiated building owners may be wary of allowing hundreds of thousands of pounds of soil to settle on their roofs, they will find that the personal benefits of a rooftop farm transcend fresh produce (which is already a pretty fabulous perk). In addition to decreasing CSO, the farms can also help lower cooling costs. “The captured water cools buildings by creating a blanket of moisture,” Goode explains. “Heat rises and then the water evaporates, which in turn feeds the plants.” Rooftop Farms has real plans for the future. Novak and Flanner, along with Goode Green, hope to realize the “s” at the end of Farms, but meanwhile they’re focusing on what Goode calls “the educational aspect of teaching people to farm.” Currently, Novak and Flanner host numerous volunteers at the farm and offer free workshops. Thirty people showed up for the course on how to pot a plant, says Goode. And while it’s tempting to slot rooftop farming into the ever-expanding bag of urban trends, the minds — and hands — behind the farm are anything but fleeting. “I don’t see rooftop farms as a fad,” Novak says. “It’s something I’m very interested in establishing as a permanent movement in New York City.”
For more on Rooftop Farms visit, RooftopFarms.org.




全日照  8個小時日照 瓜類、茄果類、豆類、山藥、豆薯(地瓜)。番茄、黃瓜、茄子、辣椒等喜溫中、強光性









菜豆生育過程中,主要吸收鉀和氮較多,還要吸收一定量的磷和鈣,才能良好發育。結莢期吸收磷鉀量較大。磷鉀肥對菜豆植株的生長發育、根瘤菌的發育、花芽分化、開花結莢和種子的發育等均有影響。缺乏磷肥,菜豆嫩莢和種子的品質和產量就會降低。缺鈣,幼葉葉片捲曲,葉緣失綠和生長點死亡。缺硼,則根係不發達,影響根瘤菌固氮,使花和豆莢發育不良。 耐陰半陰(大概3-4小時日照) 應選擇耐陰的蔬菜種植,如萵…


Dried lemons are actually limes and are used heavily in Persian Gulf and also Iranian cuisine where they add a strong bitter flavor in addition to sourness. They are made by boiling ripe limes in salt water, and then sun drying until the insides turn black. The outside color varies from tan to black. They are sold whole or ground.

Black Lime is a spice used in Middle Eastern dishes. It is made by boiling fresh lime in salt water and sun drying until the insides turn black. The outside color varies from tan to black. It is sold whole or ground.

USE Black limes are usually used in legume, seafood or meat dishes. They are pierced, peeled or crushed before adding them to the dish. After cooking they become softer and edible. They can also be powdered and added to rice dishes. Powdered black lime is also used as an ingredient in Gulf-…


為何冰箱冷凍室非得是零下18度? 不少家庭的冰箱有led面板,可顯示冷藏室和冷凍室溫度。每次看到那個零下18℃,不少人,包括筆者在內就會禁不住提出一個小疑問:為什麼冷凍室溫度非得是零下18℃?最多零下1℃不就結冰了嗎?搞這麼低溫度實在是浪費電呢。















一般來說,能引起食物腐敗和食物致毒的嗜溫菌,在低於3 ℃情況下不產生毒素,當然,個別菌種例外。

而對於嗜冷菌,一般得在零下10 ℃到零下12 ℃時才會停止生長。

有的黴菌甚至要到零下15~零下18 ℃時才會停止生長。