How One Man's Foodscape on His Rooftop Garden Managed to Feed His Family

By Paul Greenberg, "A Growing Revolution," May/June 2012

Get ideas and plans for small garden spaces to grow your own food.

"I am sitting on my deck in Brown County, Indiana where we own a cabin called Big Pine Lodge. I am discouraged by owning 50 acres of tillable challenged soil. Your beautifully written article gave me hope. I love the way you write about...

My garden is a lousy place for a garden. Located on a tenth-floor terrace a few hundred yards from Manhattan’s Ground Zero, it’s a little like a sentry post high above humanity’s campaign to annihilate nature. A 743-foot obsidian skyscraper to the south robs my terrace of all but four hours of sunlight and throughout the year a gritty wind whooshes up the concrete canyons. Unchecked, the wind can shear my tomato plants of their leaves and scatter blueberry blossoms all over the Financial District. It all can feel a little, well, fruitless.

But after about six years of failed and successful experiments, I have a garden that supplies as much as half of my family’s vegetable needs from May through September. I’ve persisted partly because of the Michael Pollan-esque mandate so many of us feel nowadays about having our food be more local. But overlaying that is something else, something specifically and abrasively New York. Sometimes when I fight my way homeward along Broadway and look up, I take a particular pleasure seeing my grape arbor jutting out victorious from all the gray grimness. To my eye it looks like nature has joined the Occupy Wall Street protestors camped out nearby and is giving plutocratic New York the finger.

Don't Miss: The Edible Garden downloadable pdf on page 4

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