WB Rooftop Garden: 2016 Season Update

We, the Wabash Rooftop Gardeners, are pleased to report that despite an admittedly late start to our 2016 growing season, our plants are healthy, robust, and productive. This summer’s crops consist of a wide variety of fresh herbs and greens which, as of last week, are being used in our own Dining Center’s culinary delights. So far, our 2016-season harvests have weighed in at a total of 3.10 pounds.

Tending to the garden, RU style. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Tending to the garden, RU style. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Currently, our most productive plants are the Italian large leaf basil and arugula. Like basil, arugula is used in many Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Though it isn’t considered an herb, its tender and mildly spicy leaves add a pop of flavor to salads, sandwiches, pizza, and more. Other herbaceous pickings that are making their way from our garden to your plates are dill, parsley, oregano, cilantro, mint, and lime basil (a sweetly aromatic variety that was specially requested by the Dining Center). Very soon we will also be harvesting organic and heirloom varieties of Swiss chard, collard greens, and kale, all of which have long growing seasons which extend into the late fall.

Our first 2016 garden haul: arugula, kale, and an aromatic assortment of fresh herbs. (Photo: R. Quesnell, 2016)

Our first 2016 garden haul: arugula, kale, and an aromatic assortment of fresh herbs. (Photo: R. Quesnell, 2016)

Besides vegetables and gardeners, the rooftop has attracted some other resident life forms. Insects, of course, have made themselves perfectly at home — the most populous being a bouncing generation of grasshoppers. We have also noticed, in the past few weeks, a family of house sparrows is often perched on the ledges or quietly poking around the plots. While there’s no nest in clear sight, there is reward in knowing that our rooftop garden offers a welcome oasis to city dwellers of the winged kind.

A family of house sparrows perches on the garden wall. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

A family of house sparrows perches on the garden wall. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

Interested in joining our team of Wabash Rooftop Gardeners? Contact Environmental Sustainability Intern Tiffany Mucci, at tmucci@roosevelt.edu.

Author: Tiffany Mucci, Environmental Sustainability Intern

A grasshopper poses near the basil. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

A grasshopper poses near the basil. (Photo: T. Mucci, 2016)

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One comment on “WB Rooftop Garden: 2016 Season Update
  1. rusust says:

    Reblogged this on Sustainability Studies @ Roosevelt University and commented:
    SUST alum (BPS ’16) and Environmental Sustainability Associate Tiffany Mucci reports on the productivity of RU’s 5th-floor rooftop garden at our Chicago Campus Wabash Building.

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