Grow your own
Sky gardens lift health and liveability to sustainable heights
As cities expand in size and precious farmland is buried below layers of concrete, it’s hard to imagine how the world will continue to feed its growing population.
The concept of “sky gardens” is well established in Europe and North America and now is being incorporated into building designs in Australia, along high-rise walls, rooftops and balconies to improve the health, liveability and sustainability of cities.
But what if these green oases were to provide much more than that? What if we started growing our salad ingredients on these rooftops high above the ground? For one thing, they’d certainly have a good view.
As people feel the need to start producing their food locally again, urban farming has taken off, with rooftops and any small city vacancy being snatched up to construct an edible garden.
Claimed to be the largest urban rooftop farm in the world with over two acres under cultivation, Brooklyn Grange in New York has sold more than 18,000 kilograms of salad ingredients to restaurants and the public through weekly farm stands.
Recently I came across a pop-up veggie garden, that was once a car park, in the CBD of Melbourne (see photo). People pay $3.50 a day for their own little veggie patch within the space and can plant whatever salad ingredients they like. This means they can come before or after work, even at lunchtime, to get some dirt under their fingernails and do a bit of planting, weeding or harvesting. Imagine a short stroll from your office building to your own veggie patch in the middle of the city, to harvest salad ingredients for your lunch every day. You can’t get fresher than that!
Now there’s even talk of building skyscrapers in cities solely dedicated to growing food. Despite these advances, let’s not forget our farmers on the land who continue to work hard to produce fresh food for us every day. Without them, we would be very hungry indeed.
Enjoy your salads! Louise.
Join Louise on a journey through the seasons with salad ingredients, old traditions and popular, exotic or unusual vegetables. From Paddock to Plate founder, author, food writer, radio journalist & yoga teacher.