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Urban Farming, On The Rise

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Hour 2:           How are city dwellers using rooftop farms and gardens to battle rising food prices? We’ll explore new frontiers of urban farming this hour with Lauren Mandel, project manager and rooftop specialist at Roofmeadow. Her new book is “Eat Up: The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture” (New Society Publishers, 2013).

  • JRobinson

    For many locations, rooftop agriculture is viable. For the vast majority of Dallas-Ft. Worth, I don’t think we have many of the the roof top situations needed… Every location has considerations, after all…

    In the vast majority of the DFW area, we don’t have flat roofs…. They are “pitched”. For locations that do have flat roofs, then there are issues of water (we are limited and on restrictions), heat (if roof temps are 140-160 or more, then water evaporates FAST and a LOT OF WATER is needed… It is a real concern…

    There is A LOT of open area to set up community, group, or association gardens.. Square Foot Gardening is becoming more popular every day… There are so many, practical methods of simply raising food locally in a limited space – that the rooftop is not on the list of local, most successful methods.

    I sure like the idea of rooftop gardening… – but in that Texas – NM – AZ – CA corridor, we have to get a lot smarter about water and space utilization.. vertical – on a building’s side – may be a lot more effective.

    Best seasons, after all, are FALL, WINTER, and SUMMER… that is something that is harder to do in New York, Maine or Wisconsin… Even those can become piratical winter garden areas..

    By all means – let’s use what works locally… Especially when there is such a need and opportunity….

  • JRobinson

    For many locations, rooftop agriculture is viable. For the vast majority of Dallas-Ft. Worth, I don’t think we have many of the the roof top situations needed… Every location has considerations, after all…

    In the vast majority of the DFW area, we don’t have flat roofs…. They are “pitched”. For locations that do have flat roofs, then there are issues of water (we are limited and on restrictions), heat (if roof temps are 140-160 or more, then water evaporates FAST and a LOT OF WATER is needed… It is a real concern…

    There is A LOT of open area to set up community, group, or association gardens.. Square Foot Gardening is becoming more popular every day… There are so many, practical methods of simply raising food locally in a limited space – that the rooftop is not on the list of local, most successful methods.

    I sure like the idea of rooftop gardening… – but in that Texas – NM – AZ – CA corridor, we have to get a lot smarter about water and space utilization.. vertical – on a building’s side – may be a lot more effective.

    Best seasons, after all, are FALL, WINTER, and SUMMER… that is something that is harder to do in New York, Maine or Wisconsin… Even those can become piratical winter garden areas..

    By all means – let’s use what works locally… Especially when there is such a need and opportunity….

  • Ian Yee

    This was an interesting topic, so thank you Lauren. However, I would argue about using a “taste test” for hydroponics versus soil-based farming. Human have selectively breed plants for its taste rather than it nutrition. Fruit that is sweeter. Vegetables that are less bitter but contain less antioxidants. Although I love the taste of hydroponic plants, I am suspicious whether we know enough about food or macro/micro nutrients to understand what is really good for us.

  • Ian Yee

    This was an interesting topic, so thank you Lauren. However, I would argue about using a “taste test” for hydroponics versus soil-based farming. Human have selectively breed plants for its taste rather than it nutrition. Fruit that is sweeter. Vegetables that are less bitter but contain less antioxidants. Although I love the taste of hydroponic plants, I am suspicious whether we know enough about food or macro/micro nutrients to understand what is really good for us.

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