Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I'm not sure on this one. Reasons for my doubt:

* so hot and windy up there
* easy to forget
* anti- gravity to get water up there = energy (not good in peak oil scenario)
* rooves need to be strong to hold lots of soil/ water tanks - expensive to retro-fit
* such a nice place for solar panels and solar hot water systems
* more land should be available for growing food in cities once the car is no longer king (which should be reasonably soon) - asphalt is the enemy!!

On the other hand:
* good for thermal regulation of buildings
* un-used space
* very secure (mad max connotations there :)

What do you think?

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Replies to This Discussion

Scarlett, all good points and relevant, but wait there is more...............................
Retrofitting of existing slopping roofs is expensive, but if we look at the amount of industrial and high-rise complexes around the city there is a reasonable amount of space.
If new homes are designed with rooftop gardens in mind then the advantages are huge,
1) usable secure space/environment where there would only have been lost space..........
2) solar thermal insulation of the roofing structure itself prolonging the life of the roof (up to double or tripling the life expectancy of the roofing material) and insulating the dwelling against extremes of temperature fluctuation..........
3) protection against hail and high wind storms, in rural areas protection against bush fires..........
4) great views, easily inclusion of passive solar thermal and solar energy and horizontal vortex type wind generation systems, which can then be utilised to pump water back up to the roof from storm water catchment tanks.
5) extensive or intensive green roofs slowing down storm water runoff filtering water naturally and also eliminates deflection/reflection minimising city heat sink syndrome helping to cool the unnatural city summer environment.
For commercial food production rooftop farms can provide the city with jobs, fresh produce with no associated food miles, eliminates the need for cold storage at the production site, increase reuse of or eliminate packaging needs and provide food outlets with the freshest food possible.

For more information visit Green Roofs Australia web site
New World Concepts website and go to Skyfarms link
I know a couple of families on the Gold Coast who designed their dwellings with flat rooftops, and incorporated a few garden beds, a BBQ area, a spa....
"Roof garden experiment" on the ABC site:
Melbourne City Council has been doing a great competition too - urging sky scrapers to get a green roof. The sky scrapers apply, landscape architects submit designs for the finalists, and the winning building and design get the garden installed for free - very cool I reckon. Burnley seems to be mostly into ornamentals - the conditions can be very harsh in Melbourne - heaps less rainfall: they're really going for the indestructibles. Like the Chicago Town Hall and the Ford Factory installations.
Anthony how can you put solar panels and food together? Won't the panels shade out the plants? A bit of shade would be good, I suppose with the sun moving it would probably protect them? You just couldn't have full coverage
It's one of the many un-used spaces which could be productive. On top of a building which is able to be retro-fitted - and industrial or retail spring to mind here - would be worth investigating. Scenes of workers nipping up to the roof to pick morning tea delights the imagination ;-)


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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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