About this project
Our vision is to show how rooftop farming is a vital part of the urban agriculture movement to create a sustainable and equitable food system. Join us by helping us grow fruits & vegetables, organically & sustainably on the roof. The rewards for your pledges include options to visit us for a tour, cool gear, fresh produce, and even come by to volunteer on the rooftop!
WHY SHOULD WE FARM THE ROOFTOP?
Why not farm all that empty space?! The more options we have--like community gardens, vacant lots, entire buildings--the more food we can produce that's local, healthy, and environmentally friendly. Check out The Urban Canopy's website and then The Plant's website for even more information, pictures, and more.LOCAL FOOD is produced as close as possible to our plates!
- Less food transportation, storage, refrigeration, & processing
- Means less gas used & fewer harmful emissions
- More freshness
- Higher nutritional content
- Plants help absorb sunlight
- Food for residents/tenants
- Extra money for building owner
- LOCAL JOBS
HEALTH is of the utmost importance!
- Fresh food instead of fast food
- Plants absorb greenhouse gasses and produce oxygen
- Green space is vital for our souls
- Major cities have about 3 day worth of fresh food...Food Security!
The funds of this Kickstarter campaign will be used to purchase most of the stuff needed to farm 3000 sq. feet of the rooftop. Specifically: water pumps, reservoirs, tubing, piping, air pumps, seeds, and so on...
We estimate that this rooftop farm will then produce about 2,700 pounds of lettuces, mustard greens, chards, kale, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and more!
We will update the website with weekly information about water/electricity used, what's in season, and how much is produced. Long story short, you're enabling an empty rooftop to produce healthy food.
- $5 - Thank you for your support! Be our ambassador by sharing our kickstarter link with your friends and family.
- $10 - Come by for a tour anytime after March. Schedule tbd in updates section.
- $25 - Urban Canopy logo bag. Perfect for carrying fresh fruits & veggies.
- $35 - Urban Canopy logo organic cotton t-shirt. Feel free to wear it during a tour or while volunteering on the roof with us.
- $50 - Got a bag? come fill it with fresh fruits & veggies from the farm. Or we'll send you a bag with seeds to grow your own food for 2012.
- $100 - Name one of the growing systems
- $250 - Intimate dinner for two, ON THE ROOFTOP FARM, by a professional chef...vegan, veggie, or simply local. Available June through September. UPDATE: The Chef will be Adriana of Zullo's! (check out www.zullosinc.com)
- $250 - Do what we do, in your community: DVD explanation of hydroponic growing, blueprints, parts list, etc.
- $600 - CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) - We'll deliver a full Urban Canopy logo bag of groceries from the rooftop farm every week throughout the season: roughly beginning of June through beginning of November (~22 weeks). Great option if you want fresh veggies throughout the season, less than $30 per delivery!
- $1000 - Dinner for you and up to 7 friends, ON THE ROOFTOP FARM, by a professional chef...vegan, veggie, or simply local. Available June through September. UPDATE: The Chef will be Adriana of Zullo's! (check out www.zullosinc.com)
- $2,500 - Naming rights to the entire rooftop farm! Highlighted on tours, in our literature, on the media, during workshops, & with a LARGE SIGN.
Please help us with shipping costs by pledging a few extra bucks.
Willing to ship internationally, please pledge a few more extra bucks.
We'll start shipping things in March/April.
Hmmm, nothing to disclaim. Oh, try at home ONLY if you're roof is deemed appropriate by a professional.
--The Urban Canopy
Farmers are weird people, that's for sure! One thing I was told is that farmers start planning their summer tomatoes in November. Right after we finish jarring and seeding any bumper crop we start thinking about doing it all again. Ditto for most other crops.
In addition, we'll still need to physically build the farm on the rooftop of the Plant. We'd like to have everything ready to grow by mid-March and possibly start planting starts indoors or on the roof shortly thereafter!
Any fresh produce rewards will be available when the plants tell us they're ready to be picked! Hopefully that will be early-summer through late-fall, depending on the crop, weather and about 42 other factors. ;-)
The Urban Canopy gear like t-shirts, bags, etc. should be ready by April. If someone knows a great logo designer that's willing to work for veggie payment, send them my way. Dave, my buddy screenprinter will go from there...
Your pledges truly enable this project to happen; period. The funds will be used to purchase the materials needed for the rooftop farm. This includes a long list of things like water pumps, irrigation hoses, structural elements, soil, compost, seeds, containers, water reservoirs, air pumps/stones, etc.
There will also be lots of small costs like screws, wood supports, trellising, buckets, shipping costs, and a fraction of the funds to create and send you amazing people all your rewards!
We sure hope so! There should be plenty of fresh fruits and veggies left after providing the pledges with their bagfulls and CSA boxes. We'll be ordering organic and heirloom seeds beginning of February and the list will include a few varieties each of lettuces, chards, mustard greens, kale, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumber, and more.
There's already been a few special requests and if you provide the seed we'll try to grow it (send us a message)! A full list of plantings and expected plantings will be available monthly starting April or May.
Also, we want to stress that a portion of the food grown will be donated to local food banks and social service providers.
Obvious question I should have answered earlier :)
Basically, there is a water holding tank known as a reservoir. The reservoir contains a nutrient solution consisting of, in this case, a "worm compost tea." This solution is circulated around directly to the plant's roots and then back to the reservoir. There is just enough soil, or other growing medium, for the plants to grow from comfortably.
There is no magic solution to our food & water problems but hydroponics has some nice trade-offs. Since the water circulates, instead of flushing down the drain, there is less overall water used to grow these veggies.
Many plants grow well with hydroponics. Ones that don't grow well include root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc, BUT tomatoes, peppers, mustard, kale, and many others do grow well. So that's what we'll be growing :)
The reservoir is 40 inches on each side and a foot deep. This holds up to 50 gallons and, when full of plants and water, weighs about 500 pounds. The plants grow vertically in "towers" and are modular. The towers on the roof will be about 6 feet tall and grow 16 plants each.
Depending on how tall the towers are constructed, you want to space them at least 3 feet apart. Southern sun exposure usually helps with plant growth, especially those that prefer more sunlight like tomatoes.
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