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Life on the Roof- Visiting the Bastille’s rooftop garden

Seattle Urban Farm Company installed a productive green roof on the roof of the Bastille Restaurant in the beautiful Ballard district in 2009 and it has gotten tons of media and public attention since its creation. They created an organized array of custom-made raised beds and kiddie-pool-sized containers with all kinds of complex little systems, including drip irrigation, ground heating, and season-fitting shading. This of course took a lot of planning and detailed work, including selecting and finding specific varieties at their request, but the rewards are bountiful and can be reaped year after year, with many added benefits. The company continues to maintain the garden and I contributed a lot of lettuce seeding as it needs to be replenished much more often than a household’s stock. Lucky for me, I got to visit the garden while some more media attention was being attained: a man was taking a series of photographs that would be featured in a video he was making on sustainable efforts going on throughout the country. I hope I can find the finished product. One can arrange to take a tour of this inspirational installation simply by contacting the SUFCo or the Bastille restaurant:

SUFCo Rooftop Gardens

The Bastille Restaurant

Five Reasons Why a Rooftop Garden is a Good Idea:
1. Insulation: Plants keep the planet temperate by absorbing the suns heat and serving as a blanket in cooler weather, and on a roof can do the same for the building. Sounds cozy to me. Added bonus: they can reduce costs of heating and air conditioning.
2. Rain catchment: Rooftop gardens snatch up all the precipitation they can get (which is why they would be so happy in Rain City). They allow the water cycle to flow naturally as they slowly release the water back into the atmosphere through condensation and evaporation while the soil serves as a natural filter.
3. Productive use of open space: While space is becoming more and more limited on this planet, the new direction we are taking for building is up. In the city especially, as discussed a little bit in the previous post, unused ground is hard to find. Building up + Container gardening = Rooftop container garden!
4. Positive attention-grabber: The restaurant came to the company looking for something marketable and innovative, and this certainly fulfilled that. They are now able to put salad on their menu with produce right from their roof. Local is in these days, and how much more local can you get than that?
5. Delicious veggies for the hungry bellies! No explanation needed for that one.

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