Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Roofs and Permaculture

Growing food on rooftops is popular in many urban areas.  New York may be leading the way, especially with projects like the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.

We are working on a Jacksonville, Florida green roof with a significant rooftop permaculture component this spring.

Vegetables are already seeded and many sprouting.  The Dinosaur Kale is about sixteen inches tall and the rocket arugula is growing well also.

We chose the roof area with the most morning sun and afternoon shade for the garden area as roof temperatures climb rapidly during the afternoon.  Though many vegetables, such as the Brassicaceae are considered C4 photosynthesis processing plants and drought tolerant, morning sun and afternoon shade is best.

Here back in the green roof plant nursery we have recently adopted farm fowl on our urban one acre lot.  With several chickens, ducks, geese and a turkey we've had to build enclosures to keep the neighborhood cats, raccoons and hawks from eating our birds.

This weekend we successfully constructed the $50.00 turkey enclosure.  At 200 SF the price per square foot calculates to be approximately twenty five cents per SF - not bad!

Green Roof Turkey House

The turkey castle is roofed with lemongrass, spinach, borage, onions, parsley, cucumbers, cantaloupe and cow peas.

The enclosure is made with simple farm posts, bent electrical conduit and wildlife - bird netting.

The soil media for the green roof is a very lightweight mix of perlite, vermiculite, sand and compost (compost about 50%).  We'll keep the roof fertilized with turkey pellets.

Green Roofs and Permaculture
And as our turkey appears to be a good flyer - I suspect he will be roosting often with the veggies.

Integrating vegetables, fruit and other items such as honey not only provides food for people but also habitat for wildlife.  Increasing the plants insects need increases biodiversity.  Pollinators are an important component of urban core gardening.

Rooftop permaculture - the new frontier for green roofs!

1 comment:

Brad said...

Hi there! Why you are not using Rooflite, GaiaSoil or CitySoil . Last one is much more lighter than mix of perlite, vermiculite, sand and compost