Monday, August 11, 2014

LEAF at Graze the Roof





On July 31st, 15 students from the LEAF program, Leadership Ecology Action Fellowship, http://matteroftrust.org/leaf-academy-2014 and their three leaders joined our volunteer day to participate in a day of ecological service, urban renewal and innovative stewardship.

Having studied ecological systems and how their processes cycle back into the community, these students were more than prepared to observe and participate in Graze the Roof’s goals and support the habitat of container gardens filled with drought tolerant natives and seasonal, edible fruits and vegetables and flowers. Their trip to the roof was the culminating experience of a long journey through the Bay Area’s sustainability initiatives, local food systems, and even GLIDE’s Meal Program.

We stated with introductions as a group and then three teams were made to tackle the day’s to-do list:  water, harvest the potato tower, and sift compost.

With a passion for water wise gardening, and site-specific irrigation systems at work, the students helped to supplement certain areas that were lacking water due to the dry spring and summer we have had. A team of students worked with soil and straw as they dug potatoes from the stacked tower of milk crates, and the smell of sweet compost in the air, their enthusiasm, teamwork, and curiosity was palpable and inspired a productive and fun day on the roof.

“Is there a bee in my hair?”

“Can snails swim?”

It was time for lunch.

A hungry group called for a hefty harvest – We harvested an abundant garden-fresh salad rich with edible flowers and diverse spicy leaves. There is nothing like a Graze the Roof salad.

“There’s a bug in my salad.”

“Excuse me, do you have ranch?”

The energy never faltered, and 491 potatoes later, the LEAF crew had to pack it in.  It was a terrific day in the garden with an amazing group of inspiring young people, who no doubt, are moving toward creating a progressive and positive environment for us all.

Come join us for a day at the garden at Graze the Roof every Thursday from 10am-2pm and read reflections from the LEAF group as well as more about the program itself here!


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grazers of the Roof: Part Two of Series



Here, we meet another one of our volunteers in an ongoing series designated to the collective force driving our garden.

Who:
Elizabeth

Neighborhood:
West Portal

From:
New York.  Born in the Bronx, grew up in Long Island

Number of cats:
No cats.  Two guinea pigs and a tortoise

Top restaurant pick:
Gialina in Glen Park.  We don’t go out much, but their pizza is as good as I can make it.

Volunteer at Graze the Roof since:
About six months ago.

Favorite place to stop and look around at Graze the Roof:
I like to look at the lettuce beds in the back.  The textures and colors – just how fast the lettuce grows.  And the scarlet runner beans!  I like watching those.  The flowers are so bright.  I don’t know why I never noticed them before.

Roof snack of choice:
Lettuce – no, those alpine strawberries!  I’m always looking for those.

What do you enjoy most about coming here?
I like it because it’s physical.  I would rather work with my hands or play in the dirt than stuff envelopes.


Don't stuff envelopes.  Volunteer!  Be a part of Graze the Roof every Thursday from 10am - 2pm at Glide.



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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer FEAST in the Garden







A BIG Thank YOU to our collaborators who helped to bring our Summer Feast to life! Feastly, https://www.eatfeastly.com and the phenomenal local chef, Caetie Ofish @Catiefish helped us bring a vision of hyper local seasonal eating to life. We welcomed 17 community members to the garden on Sunday July 20th and feasted on Graze the Roof grown fruits and vegetables like never before! Caetie's creative genus and innovative approach to cooking and plating created a meal that we will never forget. Everyone had a wonderful time and we can't wait for future meals in the garden next year!

The Menu :::

Radish Tartines ~ Josey Baker Bread, Thyme Butter, Maldan Salt

Chamomile and Lavender Sparkling Tonic ~ Lemon Sorbet Floater!!!

Spicy Nasturtium and Rooftop Greens Salad ~ Coriander+Honey Vinaigrette

Four Onion Frittata ~ Edible Flowers, Chèvre, Huacatay Pesto

Roasted Rooftop Veg ~ Carrots, Summer Squash, Fennel Fronds, Scarlett Runner Beans

Mentuccia Biscuits ~ Preserved Meyer Lemon Honey

Cream Tarts ~ Vanilla Bean + Wild Alpine Strawberries




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Friday, July 11, 2014

Grazers of the Roof: Part One of Series




As part of an ongoing series, we meet with one of our volunteers in the garden!


Who:
Nicola

From:
San Francisco

Neighborhood:
Excelsior

Number of cats:
Two.  Weegee and Yellowboy.

Top restaurant pick:
That’s hard, man.  Either Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack or Weird Fish.

Volunteer at Graze the Roof since:
This is my second day!

Favorite place to stop and look around at Graze the Roof:
I like to smell the tomatoes.

Roof snack of choice:
Those little strawberries here are good.

What do you enjoy most about coming here?
Sharing a freshly picked meal after a hard morning’s work.  It makes the weeding and gardening pay off.  Everyone brings a little contribution and it all comes together with people that you didn’t even know before that day.


Come join the crew!  Volunteer days at Graze the Roof are every Thursday from 10am to 2pm.  330 Ellis Street, between Taylor and Jones.



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Thursday, July 3, 2014

And Now, We Feast




Graze the Roof is excited to partner with Feastly for an upcoming brunch Sunday July 20th.   Feastly connects adventurous diners, passionate community members, and tasteful food enthusiasts for unique food experiences.  This collaboration is a great opportunity to fundraise for the garden, as well as increase access to and awareness of the rooftop garden itself.  In addition, we gardeners LOVE food and joining the vibrant members of our community around the table to share it with.

Our chef for the event, Caetie Ofiesh, is a Bay Area chef specializing in local and fresh ingredients for the adventurous palate.  She pulls flavors and textures from a wide range of cuisines and combines them with the best local seasonal produce to create satisfying, compelling meals.  Caetie is a mobile chef who does most of her grocery and market shopping on her bike, which helps to support her rampant sweet tooth.

We look forward to inspiring conversation and delicious seasonal eats.  The money raised will support the next phase of Graze the Roof...

In January of 2015 we will begin the first phase of Graze the Roof 2.0: a redesigned and reimagined approach to urban rooftop container gardening.  We envision an integration of aquaponics, a lightweight greenhouse, more vertical gardens and more!  Updates will be on our blog and Facebook page, as well as by email at grazetheroof@gmail.com

We very much look forward to seeing everyone at the brunch!

Take a look at the menu, how to get tickets, and get more information regarding all that Feastly does here!





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Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Bachelor Button?


“A bachelor button?” one volunteer asked.

Nodding his head ‘yes,’ another pops the feather-like handful of violet pedals into his mouth.

“Is it that the bachelor is the ‘button’ and the petals are all the ladies ready to flock?  Or are they already flocking?”

He shrugs, gripping the flower’s pedals in his fingertips to pluck them off, ready for another bite.

Grown as ornamental, used in teas, Estonia’s national flower, and cultivated by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, John F. Kennedy’s favorite flower is said to even treat conjunctivitis.  The perplexing colloquial name of the centaurea cyanus does not explicitly scream ‘bachelor,’ but here at Graze the Roof, the tall swaying plant provides great color to our garden and to our volunteer day’s lunch.

This self-seeding annual was brought to America from Europe in the 17th century and can grow up to three feet in height.  Its periwinkle florets spike out, resembling tiny instrumental horns.  Today, the plant makes for a lively bouquet after a fun day in the sun at the roof garden, and can easily provide a light (bachelor?) snack on the way home.


Come join the curiosities every Thursday at Graze the Roof!  Volunteer hours are from 10am to 2pm.






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