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Eat Up – The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture


Lauren Mandel works as a Project Manager and Rooftop Agriculture Specialist at the Philadelphia-based green roof firm Roofmeadow

By Lauren Mandel
New Society Publishers
April 2013

Soaring prices and concerns about chemical-laden fruits and vegetables increasingly drive us to grow our own healthy food close to home. In cities however, vanishing ground space and contaminated soils spur farmers, activists, and restaurateurs to look to the skyline for a solution. The hunger for local food has reached new heights, and rooftops can provide the space that cities need to bring fresh, organic produce to tables across North America.

The first full-length book to focus entirely on rooftop agriculture, EAT UP views this growing movement through a practitioner’s lens, explaining:

Structural, access and infrastructural considerations
Zoning and building codes
Proven growing techniques
Business and marketing strategies

This graphically-rich guide provides inspiration and advice to aspiring growers through photographs of successful rooftop farms and gardens and interviews with industry professionals. Easy-to-use checklists and a decision tree are included to help gauge the viability of each unique rooftop opportunity. Essential reading for home gardeners, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, policy makers, academics, and designers, EAT UP takes urban agriculture to a whole new level, proving that rooftop farming is not just pie in the sky – it is the future of urban food.

See the book here.

See the author’s blog here.

1 comment

1 Glenn Bergman { 03.27.13 at 6:11 am }

Farming on the roofs for us would be wonderful. In fact if we could see how it was a viable business we would be pleased to purchase or grow our own product for sale in our store. Why not? Stores are now built at around 50Kswft + and about 30% is taken up by utilities for the store. The rest could easily be farmed throughout the county and brought downstairs for sale in the store.