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Join us in growing fresh & organic veggies on the rooftop. We're creating a vital part of a more equitable urban food system together! Read more

Chicago, IL Food
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This project was successfully funded on February 18, 2012.

Join us in growing fresh & organic veggies on the rooftop. We're creating a vital part of a more equitable urban food system together!

Chicago, IL Food
Share this project

Wow, It's March!

Alright folks, the time is now! Weather outside is scary nice and we'll be planting outdoors soon enough.

My apologies for the delay in updating everyone on progress but there are tons of exciting things going on; this post will be a quick stream of consciousness type post. Here goes…

Rooftop Stuff: Big order of rooftop farm stuff placed on Monday. Some smaller items have arrived and more arriving this week. Calling all volunteers, building day Sunday, March 18th, at noon! Details here. Meeting with logo person Monday as well. Once we're set on a design we'll go ahead and order all the shirts, veggie totes, and other stuff.

Living hedge: this is essential to the rooftop farm succeeding. This hedge will disperse the wind away from the more sensitive plants like cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and many more. The plants that will be growing here are the hardier variety that like full sun and can withstand the wind. Including, but not limited to, amaranth, beans, peas, corn, sunflowers, and vining or bushy flowers (moon vine! bachelor button, marigolds). We have about 75 buckets already (collecting weekly) but could use about another 200. The plumbing of making this a self-watering system is coming with the rest of the rooftop parts. Building this portion begins Wednesday or Thursday!

Other news: We’ve been collecting waste stream materials that were destined for the landfill and using them for various things all over the farm. Buckets from restaurants, coffee bags and chaff from coffee roasters, juice pulp, and a few other things. The buckets become the growing containers, coffee bags will also grow things (potatoes?!). The chaff goes to the worms to make an even healthier compost that’s nice and airy, which helps with plant nutrition and root growth, likewise with the awesome juice pulp.

Trying to get my hands on some racks and lights to get all the indoor plants started ahead of the season. If you have plants you’d like included on the rooftop farm, bring us the seeds or started plants. Next week (march 17ish) we’ll be starting a third of the tomatoes, peppers and a few other big plants that are destined for the roof. IF you have those wire/metro racks that you don’t need anymore, give ‘em to us.

Bike-a-bee will be keeping 2 or 3 hives on the roof this year. They have a great update here. Also, my friend Tera will be keeping another 2 or 3 hives and these lovely ladies together will be keeping their “lovely ladies” happy. The plants and flowers will keep everyone healthy and fruitful.

Oh, and we were just on the radio. I had a great, though brief, conversation with Bill Moller of WGN Radio. The podcast should be available to listen soon: http://www.wgnradio.com/shows/billmoller/wgnam-bill-moller-alex,0,5951630.mp3file

Please comment and ask questions, I realize this is a bit of a scattered post.

–The Urban Canopy