If you mentioned rooftop farming a few years ago, most people would think you were crazy. But now that rooftop farms and gardens have taken root across the country, more and more people are joining the conversation. Groups like Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm, the Philadelphia Rooftop Farm (PRooF), NYC Rooftop Farm Initiative, and FarmRoof are talking the talk, and some are just beginning to walk the talk.
Historically, aspiring rooftop farmers in the U.S. had to seek out rooftops and convince building owners to let the space. Now, business owners in Philadelphia and New York City are elevating the buzz to new heights by planning for their own rooftop farms. As the Rooftop Agriculture Specialist at Roofmeadow, I’ve spoken with several of these business owners during the past few weeks. The prospective projects range in scale from 2,000 square feet (0.05 acre) to 66,000 square feet (1.5 acres), and include row farming and raised beds. One prospective client even requested rooftop chickens!
Each business owner is interested in rooftop agriculture for a different reason. Some value the marketing potential of a rooftop farm, others are interested in managing stormwater, and others want to supplement their commercial kitchens with roof-grown food. Regardless of intent, the rooftop agricultural buzz is growing. It’s growing all around the country, and it’s going to be big.