Ryerson’s Rooftop Garden

ryerson roofSummer students working with the TFPC and Food Strategy were invited to tour the Edible Rooftop Garden atop Ryerson’s Engineering Building on Church Street. The roof was originally built as a green roof in order to reduce energy costs and to help cool the building. An edible roof continues to provide these benefits while offering the additional benefit of food production.

The edible roof began as a pilot project in 2013 with a 1000 sq ft garden. The project expanded this year to 10,000 sq ft and is expected to be completed by the end of June.

The food

In its first year the edible roof produced a total of 250kg of food. This year, the expanded garden is expected to produce 2500 kg of organic food including:

  • Herbs
  • Strawberries
  • Eggplants
  • Lettuce
  • Other vegetables

Food produced in the garden is used in Ryerson’s Harvest Party, an annual event that celebrates local organic food. The food is also sold at Ryerson’s weekly farmer’s market and to campus Food Services. Profits from sales are reinvested into the garden.

The people

Photo 2014-06-13, 1 30 30 PM ryerson roofThere is plenty of excitement and engagement from both the on- and off-campus community. The edible roof is part of Rye’s Homegrown, an on-campus organization made up of students, staff, and faculty who aim to create a closed loop on-campus food system. Volunteers commit a minimum of 5 hours a week to plant, maintain, and harvest the garden. The garden is visible from surrounding apartment buildings and offers residents a luscious green view that is often difficult to come by in urban areas.

A special thank you to Catherine Lung for the invitation and tour!