Roof-Fresh Vegetables in and around Boston

By now, all you floral foodie fans have downloaded the Boston Globe piece on chefs growing food on restaurant roofs. Vapiano, L’Espalier, Henrietta’s Table, Ledge, b. good burgers, Ledge Kitchen and Drinks, Ula cafe, Rendez Vous caterers Tables of Content and Gourmet Caterers–all of them either grow herbs or food on site, or, in L’Espalier’s case, own a piece of a farm in the suburbs (if Essex is actually a suburb, and not independent polo-pony attracting entity). Several of these joints are growing food on their roofs, with the help of Recover Green Roofs.

Heck, you could do it too. Recover is happy to green up your carport if that’s the only flat space you’ve got. Then, call up Green City Growers, or Rad Urban Farmers, or Growing for Good and have them plant your garden, and advertize for a starving, unhinged MIT grad student to install an automocybertronic elevator herb-picking system so you don’t have to hire Spiderman to crawl up your wall every time you want a spring of parseley.

I’ve got a better idea; just pick food that grows itself. On July 27, join the expert forager Russ Cohen and the Back Bay Garden Club for a program titled “Wild Harvest: Foraging Food from Fields and Forests.” Cohen, who has written a pony-free book on edible wild plants for the Essex County Green Belt, will teach you how to “Enjoy nature’s harvest without fussing with plant pots, grow lamps and watering.” *And*–get this!– all of these plants are found on the ground!

If pawing through public parks for mushrooms doesn’t thrill you, you can always go on the Somerville Edible Gardens Tour on July 25. There is a garden on a roof deck, but judging by this description, Somerville’s gardeners are focusing on their produce, not location per se. “Along with carrots, lettuce, climbing beans, beets, potatoes, herbs, squashes, sweet and hot peppers, peas, and other favorites, Somerville’s gardeners are growing peaches, a hardy kiwi vine, asparagus, big sunflowers, pumpkins and weeping cherries, [Lisa] Dezmelyk said.” Maybe you should hire her to plant your yard.

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