Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is as good as city farming gets, in my book. If you want an example of lo-fi community food security that is blisteringly cool as well as being truly functional, here you are.
What I would really like is that out of our urban-focussed Sydney Permaculture Design Certificate in January, multiple folks full of gumption, verve and can-do skills get some rooftop farming action going on in Sydney. I mean, look at this place. It rocks.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is described as New York City’s only true soil-based rooftop farm. I don’t quite know what that means for Brooklyn Grange, but clearly Eagle Street has plenty of soil. And produce.
Eagle Street also has plenty of attitude. They hold ice cream club nights there. With BYO home-made ice cream. And they hold Kombucha-making workshops there too. And natural beekeeping courses. Oh yes – and they also produce vegetables, in marketable quantities.
So, Sydney. What’s happening? When are we going to get a rooftop farm scene started?
I mean, all you need is some market garden knowledge, some direct marketing, integrated small animal systems for nutrient cycling, organic pest control, massive carbon inputs (not hard in a city), a rocking composting operation (with all the food scraps available, also a cinch in a city), permaculture and people skills, and a whole lotta gumption.
On the start-up capital front, kickstarter worked for Brooklyn Grange, so that’s surely not the biggest barrier.
Maybe it’s the cranky Sydney landlord factor? And the green-roof preparation factor. But is that so insurmountable? Surely not…
If anyone knows of any rooftop garden space that is verging on (or aspiring to be) a rooftop farm, we would love to consider it for a visit in our January PDC (in addition to strata-title permaculture, urban food forests, thriving community gardens etc).
Let me know? And maybe we’ll see you there…
The above images are all © Tom Selby, from his rather amazing website The Selby. Have a look and get inspired.
And/or, join us at our urban Permaculture Design Certificate in January and skill up to grow some good things (and not just food) in your city.
Inspirational as always. Such a great way to start the day with a Milkwood post 🙂
Here’s an idea people, how about everyone tweet this article to Clover Moore and see if we can get her to respond? I just did. Her twitter handle is @CloverMoore
Good idea! And cheers 🙂
Hi Kirsten, check out the Norton Street Plaza rooftop kitchen garden in Leichhardt.
aha – nice one – will do
Hey Kirsten, Not sure if you have seen these guys as yet? Check out: http://cfree.com.au/index.php/projects It would seem that there is room for a combination of a permaculture inspired / Small Plot Intensve gardening for rooftop vegetable gardening. As a low-cost-of-entry enterprise it could make sense it might be possible to integrate it within an existing project – perhaps there is room to find a space where a green roof is planned and then work to see where integration is possible. There are some key issues to overcome such as size of the space, favourable aspect, excellent access (this will… Read more »
The Norton St Plaza garden has been put in by centre owners GPT as part of their partnership with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (who I work for).
There are a number of them in NSW and Vic, and they are intended to be community spaces, more info at http://www.gpt.com.au/contentimages/microsites/sakgf/default.aspx
Cheers Zoe – will definitely have to go and have a look at this one next time we’re in the big smoke… how is the norton street garden going? Is the surrounding community taking it up as a growing concern, so to speak?