Turn your rooftop into a garden - AmericaNowNews.com

Turn your rooftop into a garden

A farm on your roof? It's possible.

"The idea stemmed from wanting to grow food for my own family," says Alan Joaquin, founder of Farmroof. "So I started tinkering with the technology on the ground, but then I saw opportunities with all the wasted space on rooftops to take advantage of that. So I took the modular technology and applied it to rooftops."

Farmroof is based in Hawaii and turns urban rooftops into sprawling organic gardens. They install the technology themselves and provide the water and nutrients necessary to grow delicious produce.

"There are other rooftop farms across the U.S., but most of those are just dirt on top of a roof, so it's very heavy and a lot of maintenance," says Alan.

This system is quite the opposite. Modules are filled with organic compost and natural fibers, and set on top of an aeration core, which provides drainage and keeps everything cool.

"It's all very neat, very clean, very lightweight. The water that runs off is free of any mud or contaminates and it's just a very simple and effective system," says Alan.

So effective that it grows 10 times more food per square foot than a conventional organic farm and uses only 10 percent of the water.

"It's a timely thing. There are two trends that are really blossoming: The local vort trend, eating local, sustainable food and also green building -- constructing buildings that have a small carbon footprint and a low environmental impact," Alan explains. "So Farmroof plays on those two trends."

Urban rooftop gardens are particularly successful for large industries like restaurants, hotels and hospitals. The return on investment is around three years.

"Of course you have the environmental benefits of cooling the building down below and the aesthetic beauty of the farm roof. It's nicer to look at greenery instead of black roofs," Alan adds. "There are a lot of ways that the system pays for itself. Anywhere there's flat, wasted roof space and there's a need for local, organic and seasonal food, a Farmroof can be installed."

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