Edible Walls – not on the roof
Walls are for growing food
For a couple of years we’ve been experimenting with growing in metal, edible wall units. At first we planted them as they sat horizontal on a table and everything grew beautifully. But when we attempted to lift them and attach the soil-filled containers to the fence, they weighed so much that we could barely lift them. That’s when Sean built specially reinforced frames to mount them on.
Once the plants were up and facing the world ‘sideways’ rather than looking up at the sky, they acted strangely and began to bend upwards as if the wind were blowing them from below. We learned that this was caused by gravity and called Gravitropism. (See below.)
The plants were watered and fertilized with liquid at the top of the units.
Wiki says: Gravitropism is a turning or growth movement by a plant or fungus in response to gravity. Charles Darwin was one of the first to scientifically document that roots show positive gravitropism and stems show negative gravitropism. That is, roots grow in the direction of gravitational pull (i.e., downward) and stems grow in the opposite direction (i.e., upwards). This behavior can be easily demonstrated with a potted plant. When laid onto its side, the growing parts of the stem begin to display negative gravitropism, bending (biologists say, turning; see tropism) upwards. Herbaceous (non-woody) stems are capable of a small degree of actual bending, but most of the redirected movement occurs as a consequence of root or stem growth in a new direction.
The Environmental Youth Alliance have built a large-scale edible wall in Vancouver
From What’s Up at EYA
“If you looked up this past June you might have seen the latest Green Graffiti installation. With the help of Raincity Housing and our dedicated volunteers, we installed an edible living wall at the Princess Rooms in the downtown eastside. In an area not normally known as a food oasis, the living wall is providing both food for thought and for bellies.
“The new greenspace is also providing homes for the local insect population, with early sightings of ladybugs and even a monarch butterfly. To see the wall for yourself, take a stroll or bike by the 200 block of Princess Avenue.”