Roosevelt University’s two rooftop farms in Chicago
Later this summer, those vegetables and herbs will be harvested and used in Roosevelt’s dining hall.
By Karis Hustad
There are five green roofs on the Wabash building, three of which create natural insulation to assist with temperature control, while two grow vegetables that are used in the dining hall. The vegetable gardens have been a bit of a living laboratory for the last three years, as students have experimented with different types of plants in order to understand what works best at a certain height with certain amounts of light. For example, tomatoes didn’t work out so well on the fifth floor said Quinsell. “Patience is a big thing,” she said, when experimenting with urban farming.
“We’re using that garden as an educational tool for exporting those ideas to [others] who have large green roof gardens,” said Matthews.
30 miles away at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus, the school recently replaced 10 acres of turf grass with natural prairie wildlife and gardens that also provide produce for the dining halls– a 10×10 foot plot can produce up to 850 pounds of food in a growing season, Matthews said.