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GOING ABOVE THE ROOFTOP FOR DEVELOPMENT : Vertical Urban Agriculture and
similar projects 11

In USA growing tomatoes, at home I.E. inside the apartment, is becoming common. The plants are sold in HOME DEPOT chain stores. The container, without spilling the soil on the ground (this is very important), is interestingly kept hanging vertically upside down manner i.e. the roots are facing towards sky and the plants, with ripe tomatoes, facing the floor. That way it does not touch the ground. Imagine if one uses the free space available on rooftop to cultivate tomatoes and other similar vegetables using this "upside down hanging method" and then adding layer over layer in the open space that is available, it may result in vertical urban agriculture, just above your rooftop! If successful, it has the potential for Third Green Revolution!!!! I guess, production and profitability will, of course, depend on how many vertical layers one can add.

Plants supply oxygen and consume CO2. In summer, it can produce cooling effect to the building. These may be some other benefits.

Lot of personal attention and care needs to be taken. Else one may end up in creating a mess on the roof!

There is yet another project for rooftop and that is beekeeping. I read recently in New York Times that one such person in Manhatten has 250 beehives on the rooftop which has the potential of producing 100 pounds of honey per beehive. That is not a bad idea, if the roof is lying vacant any way!

I guess rooftop agriculture as a concept needs to be developed for cities. We have already started rooftop rain water conservation and that idea needs to be expanded further.

I welcome discussions on the above subject and by email particularly.

SHRIKANT BADVE
NEW YORK
E-Mail: shrikantbadve@yahoo.com
Fri April 30 2010 06:01:43 PM by ShrikantBadve 1790 views

Comments - 11

  • Fri April 30 2010 10:04:20 PM

    My blog on vertical urban agriculture. Please read the article given at : http://www.grist.org/article/2010-04-26-rooftop-farming-and-beekeeping-boom-in-new-york/


    Shrikant Badve
    shrikantbadve@yahoo.com

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  • Narsi wrote:
    Sat May 01 2010 08:26:29 AM

    Well, I guess the world can be changed only one step at a time, so rooftop plants / indoor plants is indeed a welcome idea as it enables people to grow plants within the existing framework - though whether the existing framework of our livelihood is sustainable is a question in itself. To me, a house without a garden outside doesn't sound like a nice house to live in, but then again, as I said, something is better than nothing.

    The other thing about gardening, in my opinion, is that it is almost always messy. While the prospect of clay and mud all over our halls appears rather painful, trying to do gardening without literally dirtying our hands in some way doesn't sound like fun either...

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  • Manohar wrote:
    Sat May 01 2010 10:15:51 AM

    Can this idea be taken further for growing algae in pots inside houses for absorbing CO2 in cities ?

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  • Sat May 01 2010 12:51:18 PM

    Thanks for sharing your views. In 2008 / 09 I recollect having read an article in a Delhi based newspaper (could be magazine supplement) which said that a lady in Delhi has successfully grown not less than 250 different plants, including fruit bearing, on rooftop farming. I guess one needs to study her efforts carefully as to how she did this without creating any kind of mess on roof!

    People with love for gardening can do that, I feel. Can anyone find that article and rope that great lady into this discussion? It will help change the views of skeptics.

    I also understand that in Pune some enterprising people grow "edible mushrooms" inside the house by creating favourable environment. Surely there must be some good way without creating any kind of mess.

    Shrikant Badve
    shrikantbadve@yahoo.com

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  • Sat May 01 2010 08:50:53 PM

    I found some interesting information on this at the link below: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/first-ever-rooftop-farm-affordable-housing.php

    Shrikant Badve
    shrikantbadve@yahoo.com

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  • Sat May 01 2010 09:08:39 PM

    Something more with pictures in the links below could throw new ideas on verticle farming:

    http://brightfarmsystems.com/

    http://brightfarmsystems.com/better-food/building-integration

    Shrikant Badve
    shrikantbadve@yahoo.com

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  • Sun May 02 2010 09:25:03 AM

    Uban agriculture is the way to go. Please view our website; www.algalsolution.com

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  • Pami wrote:
    Sun May 02 2010 06:15:43 PM

    The water leakage problem and wall dampening can be the major challenges!!

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  • Mahesh wrote:
    Mon May 03 2010 01:05:44 PM

    To, Manohar sir.
    Yes, I'm already doing that, thats the best model to grow algae... Be it for, fod, fuel or to cut carbon foot prints

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  • Mahesh wrote:
    Mon May 03 2010 01:10:38 PM

    Water damping won't be a problem if we use a plastic sheet covering all over, thats cheep also and there is consulting company in Bangalore which trains people for roof top cultivation and even collects the harvest if you don't want them....

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  • Mon May 03 2010 03:31:48 PM

    Water leakage and dampening may be a problem in old buildings as they were constructed when building techniques used were old. Today anti-leaking chemicals are available which can be used at the time of construction itself, and not after the building is made. Use of plastic sheet (never mind it is cheap!) may not be a permanent solution. One can see availability of chemicals / technology in Building and Construction Exhibitions for Civil and Structural Engineers, Architectures, etc held in Pragati Maidan of Delhi. This is an annual event and I understand that it takes place in major cities in India. I have seen it myself in 2008 exhibition in Delhi.

    Shrikant Badve
    shrikantbadve@yahoo.com

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