A few posts ago I gave some advice to gardeners on rooftops in Boston. Here they introduce themselves:
Hi there! Welcome to Harvard Business Publishing’s rooftop garden project. This is the second year of the project and we have a scrappy team of enthusiastic gardeners who are eager to share our experience with you. So, come on—let me show you around and introduce the team.
We are located in the old arsenal near Boston which has been converted to office buildings and restaurants.
Ours is a ballasted roof that has some kind of membrane underneath which prevents us from walking directly on the roof (we’d puncture it and that wouldn’t be good). Therefore, the tiles you see in the picture are where we must walk. The containers can be on the stones but we need to stay on the tiles. We are positioning the containers to run along the sides of the walking tiles.
The Team: From front to back, Matt, Tara, Suzi, Martha, Matt and Zach. Not shown: Roisin and Doug.
We are on a very small budget, so many of us have donated containers for our garden and are bringing in our own tools. We do have access to some cedar planters that were bought last year as well as some tools and watering cans. We don’t have a hose, at least not yet but there is talk of getting one up to the roof. I’m not sure where it will get the water from. I didn’t see a spigot up there.
We started a lot of different seeds indoors about a month ago. We may be a bit over-enthusiastic about what we are going to grow. We had a lot of fun in the store looking at various seeds and imagining our garden and we may have undertaken a lot more than we realize but hey! We’ll figure this out and learn from our mistakes. At least they should be fun mistakes!
We’ve been germinating and growing the seeds in our cubicles. They make for great conversation and distraction pieces. If someone is trying to get information, data or work out of me, they see the plants and it always side-tracks them. (Now you know my secret to less work and more play.) I’ve got cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, eggplant and ornamental gourds all growing in containers in my cubicle. Suzi is germinating several varieties of herbs including basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage and tarragon. Matt has started peas, edemame and several types of tomatoes. Tara started lettuce at home outside. Unfortunately, the birds got the first plantings so she replanted and covered with netting.
We planted outside for the first time last week. We have lettuce started along with peas and radishes. We started the peas inside which I don’t think was necessary but considering it took us so long to get going on the roof and we were just anxious to plant something and watch it grow, we started them anyway. After 5 days, the radishes look pretty good and the lettuce is growing nicely. The peas and edamame need a trellis which we hope to get up this week. Starting next Monday, we will start to harden off the rest of the plants for planting the week after Memorial Day.
So, that’s who we are and what we are growing. We’ll check in periodically to let you know how things are growing and the challenges we are facing. Feel free to drop by anytime! We like showing off our project.