Saturday, July 18, 2015

[Updated] An urban garden grows atop Umbrella House on Avenue C

Via the EVG inbox…

Today from 4 to 7 pm the former Lower East Side squat Umbrella House will host an open house to inaugurate its urban farming project. At 5 pm members of Umbrella’s Rooftop Garden Committee will speak briefly about the development of the project.

EVENT RAINDATE: Sunday July 19; 4 — 7 pm.

This 820 square foot intensive green roof serves as a source of fresh produce for building residents, as a means to assist in storm water management, and as a model for other New York

The garden was initially conceived in early 2012 and construction was completed in December 2014. Now in its first growing season, the garden is producing swiss chard, broccoli, white onions, eggplant, okra, spinach, zucchini, basil, sugar snap peas, jalapeno peppers, lamb’s quarters, and several varieties of tomatoes; as well as medicinal plants: hyssop, lemon balm, chamomile, calendula, and passion flower.

Umbrella’s Rooftop Garden involved extensive construction: structural steel framing and concrete planking were required to build the raised 8” planting bed. Construction cost was $150,000. Area architect Paul Castrucci was the project architect.

Umbrella House members believe that this project is a worthy example for other co-ops and property owners to emulate.

Umbrella House Garden Committee and Co-op Board Member Parker Pracjek states: “Access to healthy food through Farmer’s Markets, Green Food Carts, and Farm to Table initiatives have made some improvements to food health literacy in New York City, but more must be done. Food justice should be expanded to urban farming to transform underused spaces into productive environments. The benefits of urban farming are far-reaching and include decreased carbon footprint, responsible use of natural and human resources and community health.”

[Image via the Umbrella House website]

Umbrella House is at 21 Avenue C between East Second Street and East Third Street.

Read more about the garden here. The New York Times has a feature on the garden here.

Updated 9:26 a.m.

Due to showers and thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon, the Umbrella House Garden Open House has been rescheduled for tomorrow 4-7 p.m.


Anonymous said...

Hi did the property get any green roof rebates because I understood that NYCity has d/c this type of rebate and is no longer accepting applications? Where did they raise the money from to do the two year project?

Anonymous said...

$150k for initial start up costs, plus yearly on going costs = some very expensive vegetables. Also what about air pollution (from NJ) and soil contamination (urban gardens have high levels of lead in soil)?