Author Archives: batteryrooftopgarden

The April Harvest

So did any of my etymologically inclined readers stumble over the title?   Yes, you’re right: “harvest” is derived from the old English “haerfest,” meaning autumn.   So a harvest in April is a contradiction, or perhaps more charitably, a paradox.   But, … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking and Eating, Nectarines, Spinach | 3 Comments

Peaches 2016

The headlines were breathless but accurate: “Valentine’s Day Massacre of Peach Blooms,” screamed the headline in Growing Produce; “Cold snap decimates peach crop in Massachusetts and beyond,” said another.   Even the staid Gray Lady declared, “East Peach Crop Almost a … Continue reading

Posted in Failures, Fruit, Peaches, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy, Weather | 2 Comments

Pollinators for Urban Gardens: The Case for Hole-Nesting Native Bees

Note from the Battery Rooftop Gardener: Crown Bees, which bills itself as the “The Gentle Bee Company,” is a solitary bee (mason and leafcutters) company based in Woodinville, WA that advocates using managed native bees for pollinating fruits and vegetables (see http://www.crownbees.comContinue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Getting to Green

If you have read this blog for some time, you will know that my adventure in urban rooftop agriculture is just one manifestation of a broader interest in environmental issues.   Having spent more than two decades working for various Green … Continue reading

Posted in Strawberries, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy | Leave a comment

Manhattan Rooftop Terroir

Today I enjoyed the first rooftop asparagus of the season, which of course raised the knotty question of Manhattan rooftop terroir. Let’s start with the question of what terroir is: the unique, organoleptic qualities associated with food and drink from … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking and Eating, Design, Soil, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy, Weather | 4 Comments

The Rooftop Growing Guide

Since the 18th century the country’s heartland has sprouted a hardy crop of farmer philosophers. The 21st century Brooklyn-based example of this great American type is Annie Novak. Her new book, The Rooftop Growing Guide (Ten Speed Press, available February … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Soil, Structure, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy, Vegetables, Wildlife | 1 Comment

Breaking News: Urban Fruit is Better

A few years ago, I told an environmentalist friend of mine, who is also a medical doctor, about my green roof and plan to grow food.   She looked at me strangely, obviously torn between disapproval and an instinct to be … Continue reading

Posted in Apples, Asian Pears, Cooking and Eating, European Pears, Fruit, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Soil, Urban Agriculture and Food Policy | Leave a comment