Welcome, fellow farmhands.
We plan to load this section with info related to ag and specifically rooftop ag – from soils to building issues. If there are particular things you’re interested in learning about, drop us a line and we’ll look into it.
In the meantime, here are some thoughts on getting started from our limited experience:
Take your time. There’s a good amount to know with respect to farming in general and rooftop farming in particular. We’re planning our first season more than a year out and based on a fair amount of experience. Durable models and quality food systems take time to develop. I’ve heard so many people say you can’t make a living at this. My hunch is that you can if you plan well. (We’ll let you know).
Find someone knowledgeable to work with. Flying solo (I’ve done it) results in a lot of head-to-wall banging. Make mistakes on someone else’s farm! read, read, read, ask a ton of questions, breathe.
Get to know soil. Seems like soil is often the last thing that farmers commit to learning. I recommend getting to know soil from day one. Soil is insanely cool and getting to know it can help you avoid problems and grow more and better food. I’ve found I need to read the same information over and over from a range of different sources. If one isn’t working for you, just pick up another. To get you started, here’s a sketch of soil from a farmer’s perspective written by Zach Wolf, Field Manager at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. If you’re interested in digging deeper, Soil Science Simplified is a good book as are Building Better Soils and From the Soil Up. The Ideal Soil by Michael Astera is an amazing one when you get ready to dive into mineral balancing. Teaming with microbes is a very accessible text on soil microbiology. If you’re new to the study of soil, prepare to be dazzled…and probably a bit confused. Feel free to get in touch with any questions.