|Green Roof Mat with Swale Pads For Food Growing - Roof Permaculture|
The rooftop permaculture systems we work with generally employ some type of three dimensional weave to allow plant roofs the chance for anchoring. These are the same systems we just successfully tested in the hurricane simulators - where, once installed the plants and soils stay embedded in the mats under 120 mph winds.
Soil embedded three dimensional netting, though not essential, is important in sub tropical climates influenced each summer by cyclones and hurricanes, helping hold both soil and plants in place. The weave also allows for steeply sloped rooftop areas to be taken advantage of for agricultural purposes.
|Green Roof Mat & Soil Added For Food Growing - Roof Permaculture|
Importantly, growing food on the roof creates economic opportunity. Many small cafes and restaurants will purchase locally grown organic produce. Moreover, rooftop gardens reduce heat island effect, produce oxygen and sequester carbon, provide habitat and offer many other benefits.
One of the first suggestions a friend offered was to take the multi-dimensional mat and fold it under in certain areas, creating a swale-like structure - a technique successfully used in permaculture practices, one with a focus on water efficiency maximization.
|Judy's Spring Mix Ready for Green Roof Planting|
The folds were added after the fact because the mat had already been installed.
A lightweight roof soil mix was added to the mat and seedlings Judy had grown - a spring mix - were planted.
Growing food on roofs and walls in the Urban Core opens many economic, ecological and social doors. Elimination of food transportation costs can even help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
|Green Roof Food Garden - Roof Permaculture|