Saturday, January 14, 2012

16: Rooftop Garden

On the roof of my 800 sq. ft. garage I grow flowers and vegetables in homemade earthboxes.

In 2007, along with my good friends and neighbors, Heidi and Art, we started a blog, Green Roof Growers, to document our rooftop growing projects and show landless city residents how they can do the same.

In 2008 a local journalist did a piece on me.  I've since lost the long hair and about 20 pounds, but still feel the same way about our rooftop gardens. I'm in the second half of the video starting at the 8:00 minute mark.

Sky Full of Bacon 01: How Local Can You Go? from Michael Gebert on Vimeo.

Here's how he introduced the video:
Local is a hot word in food these days. In How Local Can You Go? I visit two people who are taking different approaches to trying to bring local food into the mainstream in Chicago. Cassie Green runs a market in West Town called (what else?) Green Grocer, which features a lot of the producers who sell at Green City and other farmer’s markets. One of the knocks on local and organic food is that it’s the kind of thing only yuppies with extra money to spend can worry about, but the market that sustains something like local growing and eating usually starts with a cute little shop in a trendy neighborhood, and Cassie’s enthusiasm for the wonderful-looking food she sells is infectious.
Meanwhile, Bruce F. is a Wicker Park resident who read about Earthboxes in the Reader, and subsequently built about 30 DIY ones out of Rubbermaid tubs on his garage, as well as a Flickr page that tell you all about how and why you should do it too. He’s a thoughtful guy who really brings a lot of perspective to the broader issues surrounding the act of growing your own food in the city, in a way that kind of reminds you of John Cusack’s character in Say Anything.
The total podcast runs 19:39, though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t feel like it. As the season progresses I’ll check back with both Cassie and Bruce to see what else is growing, and include the updates in future podcasts.
Green Grocer
1420 W. Grand (just west of Ogden), Chicago

Links for further exploration:
Green Grocer Chicago
Bruce’s Flickr page, and his Daily Kos diary
Reader article on Earthboxes
LTHForum thread on Earthboxes (with posts by both Bruce and myself)
Links to blogs and articles shown in the montage of locavore press toward the beginning:
Eat Local Challenge
Vital Information (essential Chicago locavore blog)
NY Times
Food & Wine

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