Monday, August 25, 2008

Sky Vegetables

Have you noticed sometimes how you have to spend a good amount of time squeezing the smallest bits of information out of some sites...? I'm not sure how this is. One example of this is the site for Sky Vegetables, and the companion blog site which seems nigh impossible to extract even the slightest bit of useful info... due to it's new-ness and flashness... although some gleanings that made it worth the trip...

:: image via Sky Vegetables

There is one nice flash overview showing some components of integrated rooftop strategies, such as wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, composting, greenhouses, and solar panels, with some brief description of each.

:: screen shots via Sky Vegetables

A nice element on the blog side, was some photos of Eli Zabar's rooftop greenhouses in NYC, which are renowned for being one of the best productive roofs in the country. From Sky Rooftop: "...Eli Zabar deserves the revenues and the bragging rights; he provides organic produce that is fresher and more local than perhaps any grocery store in New York. I was surprised to find out that Zabar’s actually operates two rooftop greenhouses. In addition to the rooftop of his grocery store, The Vinegar Factory, he has a rooftop greenhouse on his warehouse across the street. The greenhouses grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs. This includes raspberries, strawberries, a variety of greens and herbs, tomatoes, peppers and even dates. A big kudos to Eli for his vision and progressive thinking, proving fresh produce from the roof can be sold commercially and for a profit."

:: images via Sky Rooftop

Another interesting side trip led me to Dr. Job Ebenezer, who is the innovator behind the 'wading pool' garden - featured on local project here in Portland at the Rocket. Ebenezer experimented with Wading pools atop the Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Chicago as a model for urban agriculture. And this was 15 years ago... so this stuff ain't new. Ebenezer also discusses gardening with feed sacks, and used tires... you name it. This rooftop pioneer doesn't show up on any of the latest articles on urban rooftop ag...

:: image via Container Gardens

From Container Gardens: "Dr. Ebenezer set about to prove the feasibility of growing vegetables in plastic wading pools. The demonstration garden has proved to be highly successful. In 1997, gardeners harvested 984 pounds of vegetables from 38 pools in an area measuring 1,625 square feet. One pool alone yielded an average of 22.5 pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini and a variety of greens. This is equivalent to about 26,800 pounds. per acre, which far exceeds that of commercial yields in the state of Wisconsin and even the national 1996 average yields."

:: image via
Sky Rooftop

Another pic showing Ebenezer in situ, who focuses this work on technology transfer for feeding the poor through a non-profit group... All this, somehow makes the Rocket, just a little bit less cool... :)

1 comment:

  1. Check this site:

    It is a critical discussion regarding aquaponics including a section on rooftops.

    Unlike the president of Sky Vegetables, the authors have expertise and experience in food production systems of this kind.

    The idea of rooftop production is not new, although Sky Vegetables seemed to have dooped a lot of folks into thinking it is.


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