Wabash Rooftop Garden Efforts

Earth Week and Bike2Campus Week were both just two weeks ago, right before finals week. As such, students, faculty, and staff of Roosevelt University were encouraged to join in on the Wabash rooftop garden planting prep days: Tuesday, April 22nd (Earth Day) and Thursday, April 24th.Wa

On Tuesday, myself, Rebecca Quesnell, and Tom Shelton, the Environmental Sustainability Coordinator in the Department of Physical Resources, spent about an hour moving 2ft by 2ft by 8in plots that had a compost and standard soil mix in some, while others primarily had a gravel mix. Later on, Sustainability studies major Kyle Huff also came out the rooftop garden and helped put together pea trellis. Kyle interned at Growing Power here in Chicago last summer and got quite a bit of gardening experience doing so. Herbs were also planted such as basil, oregano, sage, and thyme.

Thursday the 24th had a great turnout too! Professor Aaron Shoults-Wilson, his wife, and their young son showed up to help with planting, as well as Noe Villagomez, who is the food and beverage manager for the Auditorium Theatre, and Sophia Johnson and Ian Todd, students here at Roosevelt University. There was a lot going on Thursday day in terms of what needed to be done and what got done. Another trellis was put together, this time a leaning trellis for black beauty squash- a summer squash- to grow up and along, and it was strategically fastened since it can get pretty windy up on the rooftop! Many vegetables were also planted such as kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, peas, and carrots. Other vegetables that will be planted in the coming weeks, and in early summer include the following: Nasturtium, squash, zucchini, cucumber, onion (two types), watermelon, green beans, okra, broccoli sprouts, endive, and marigolds and possibly tomatoes and bell peppers. The goal is to get production this year and to have the Wabash dining center utilize any and everything that will take up there.

I have high hopes for the rooftop garden this year, and while I wish I could see it through, Mary Beth Radeck, who helped jumpstart the prairie restoration, prairie walk, and community garden, among various other projects out at Schaumburg, will be seeing it through. Only time will tell how things will go, as it is a trial and error process to see what will take five stories up, and what will not. Trellises are a new addition this year, and they will hopefully allow us to keep growing even higher up on our vertical building.

If you would be interested in helping tend to the Wabash rooftop garden anytime over the summer, then contact Mary Beth Radeck at mradeck@roosevelt.edu. There will be a group of individuals switching on and off in tending to the garden and Mary Beth will be in charge of those efforts. Have a fun and safe summer!

Also, pictures to come!

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