New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Home Roof Gardens in Chicago


“This past summer, my friends (Art and Heidi) and I tried to grow heirloom vegetables on our respective rooftops in Chicago using homemade Earthboxes. Heidi would come over every few weeks and take some photos of my plants, which she then sent me along with some shots from their roof garden.

“We’re trying to figure out how to automate the watering of all those tubs on my garage roof without spending a lot of money. Here’s what I’ve got so far: Out of a reservoir kept full with a Hudson valve, I’d run supply lines to each of the boxes. If I suck all the air out of these lines, the siphon/water level effect should keep all the tubs watered as long as the vacuum seal isn’t broken.”

See all their photos and more on Earthboxes here.


1 brucef { 03.11.08 at 2:04 pm }

Thanks for posting this here. We’re trying to get more people involved in growing a little (or a lot) of their own food.

As a response to any number of environmental problems, it’s a small but rewarding way to push back. Also, we think they’re a great way to build connections in a fragmented social/political landscape.

If you click on the link to our photos, you’ll find plenty of practical, hands on advice.

2 Kate { 01.08.11 at 9:34 pm }

Wow great page! I am thinking of starting a roof-deck garden of my own in St. Louis!

3 melanie sailer-russo { 05.25.11 at 8:04 am }

The earthboxes are new to me this season-kudos on figuring out a watering solution-thanks for your good work.