Monday, May 28, 2012

Grand Opening Celebration June 2nd

Summer is definitely upon us!

With overnight temperatures steadily above 50 degrees (and highs often above 70), it is time to get our garden planted.  The tomatoes, herbs (basil, lemon basil, sage, parsley and onions), and zinnias that we're growing in the southern window are bursting from their pots, ready to brave the windy conditions on the roof!

We have had tremendous support from the gardening group of Professional Dimensions - in addition to the time they have put in helping me organize and plan the garden, they have donated seed starting materials, seedlings (which we will be planting this weekend), garden tools and materials.  Thank you to all!!  We also have a number of volunteers who have donated personally-grown starters and who will be helping to plant this weekend before the Open House.

Speaking of which - check out for details about the upcoming Grand Opening Celebration next weekend, June 2nd from 12-3pm. In partnership with the WI Arthritis Program, we will be sharing some garden wellness tips, offering some hands-on experience using adaptive garden tools and answering your questions about the Edible Skyline Project.  We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rooftop Gardens in Madison, WI

This weekend I spent time in Madison, WI visiting some other rooftop gardens for inspiration.  Though these gardens aren't producing food like the Edible Skyline project will, they are beautiful greenscapes in the city and are doing a lot to capture rainwater and keep the sewers healthy! 

On top of St. Mary's Hospital

Another view of the gardens at St. Mary's

This is the largest rooftop garden in Madison,
at University Square on the UW- Madison campus.

The green walled area on the far side of this garden
is a beautiful social area for students living in these apartments! 

It's difficult to see in this picture, but the Unitarian Society building has
rooftop planters capturing water above its worship hall.

A creative and artistic downspout - made from bell-shaped
cups which capture water and allow it spill down into the cups below.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spring Planting for Rooftop Garden

We had a group of volunteers from Levi Strauss & Co. visit CORE/El Centro this week and help with planting our broccoli and cauliflower starters on the rooftop.  I had given them three days of "practice" on the rooftop, taking them out for 3-4 hours each day so they could acclimate to the sun and wind before they took their new (and final) home on our rooftop soil.  These starters were about 6 weeks old, but most only had 2-3 sets of "real" leaves.  The typical standard for broccoli and cauliflower to transplant when they are EITHER 4-6 weeks old, or have 4-5 sets of true leaves (that is, not counting the initial set of leaves). 

When transplated, broccoli can be planted up to the first set of true leaves - the initial leaves, or cotyledons, will actually grow into roots if planted underground.  Cauliflower is best planted at the same height as it was in the seed pots, but because some of our little ones has soft stems, we planted them a bit deeper so they wouldn't be so wind-whipped.  Speaking of wind, you can see in the picture below slight wind burn on the broccoli leaves.  This picture was taken the day after planting.  I hope this is something the plants will grow out of - I'll keep posting updates as they grow and continue to acclimate to the windy conditions five stories above the street! 

The bed as of 5.4.12- spinach, lettuce and swiss chard at the far end, broccoli
andcauliflower in the middle, a nice transplant of oregano nearest the camera. 

Possible wind burn after the first night on the roof.