Farming ‘up above’ may be next food frontier

No, we’re not talking about ‘Heavenly’ gardens, although they’re reaching that way. We’re referring to rooftop gardens. Gardens and farms on top of multi-story urban buildings and even skyscrapers.

“People are hungry for local food, tired of thinking of pesticides and other crummy things found in today’s food,” said Lauren Mandel, a  project manager and rooftop agriculture specialist based in Philadelphia.

Even if they live in the city with no bare ground in sight.

An article in Grist, written by Lori Rotenberk, details how a number of rooftop mini-farms serving upscale restaurants catering to discerning diners seeking fresh, organic herbs and vegetables, have sprung up over the last few years in urban centers such as Chicago, New York and Boston.

You can’t get much fresher than rooftop. The fresh and nutritious produce is harvested, heads straight down to the kitchen and a short time later appears on the table to be consumed by happy diners.

The trend has caught on and the largest rooftop farm yet is in the works–the 40,000 sq. ft. Higher Ground Farm, atop a manufacturing building in Chicago.

According to Rotenberk’s article, rooftop gardens and farms raise  property values, clean the air and cool the buildings. These farms ‘up above’ are now under consideration in every large American city.

Definitely one of the better ideas cities have considered over the last few decades of urbanization and rules against people raising food outside the degrading corporate food system.