Most in the gardening world are aware of rooftop gardens, but look up in Brooklyn, NY and you might catch a glimpse of a rooftop farm with the catchy country-style name of The Brooklyn Grange. The 40,000 square foot roof top will be home to tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and greens – all meant for sale to local restaurants and at a farm market. I’m not quite sure how efficient it is to haul nearly a million pounds of specialized roof-top planting mix to the six-story roof, but I like the thought of looking skyward in to see tomatoes ripening on a roof-top in the midst of a bulging city.
Kudzu is an invasive vine that I’m eternally grateful has not yet invaded New England – though it has been found nearby in New York and Pennsylvania. Southern states have been dealing with the incredibly fast growing vine for years – it’s the vine that ate the south. Take a drive just about anywhere in the southeast and you’ll see supernatural-looking mounds of kudzu covering trees, shrubs, cars, buildings – think Cousin It in green leaves. There are claims you can almost watch kudzu grow. Apparently the vine’s un-neighborly habits extend beyond its penchant for swallowing everything in sight – it may also be detrimental to air quality, report researchers from the University of Virginia, Columbia University, and Harvard University. They found chemicals – isoprene and nitric oxide – in kudzu form ozone when combined with nitrogen in the air. Makes me grateful my most troubling invasive plants are bittersweet, and Japanese barberry.