Friday, December 24, 2010

City Gardening

An irrigation system which collects rainwater from their neighbor's roof in huge drums and pumps it up two stories, about ten garden beds 6x6, some vegetables and fruits I hadn't heard of, dried strawberries on the vine that did not taste so much like strawberry but something bright, tart, leathery and berry-ish at once, Polish chickens -one named Martha Stewart.  Maybe this wasn't so much a rooftop garden as it was a rooftop farm.  I had the honor of visiting this mini farm in the sky today and it was inspiring.  Turns out this farmer, Breanne Heath, has a lot more going on than just farming, she's proficient in canning, being resourceful and is a forager.  She finds crabapples, paw paws, rosehips, mulberries, blackberries, raspberries, sour cherries basically if its a fruit you can eat on the street or in little hidden spots throughout the city she knows it.
She is currently in the process of building hoop houses for her garden beds which are awesome.  The cool thing is that they help insulate the building and the building helps keep the soil from freezing and with the hoop houses should keep it nice during the winter for heartier vegetables and leafy greens and hopefully with her permission, this winter I will have a course at One Sister Underground Dining called, Breanne's Rooftop Garden.
There is just so much we can do locally and it makes me so proud when I see people doing it.  I thought I was clever building my own garden bed.  This was by far the coolest and best garden bed/rooftop garden I have seen in Chicago.

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