Tuesday, October 27, 2015

UDC green roof closes for the season - 4300 lbs. harvested!

Photo by Sandra Farber Bandier 
November is here and the growing season on the UDC green roof has come to an end, so the roof is closing for the year after a successful inaugural season. According to DC Master Gardener Program Coordinator and Green Roof Manager, Sandra Farber Bandier, most of the plants have been removed, except for Swiss  chard and butternut squash. The pollinator garden will remain in bloom until the first or second frost. 

The production and popularity of the roof exceeded our expectations.  To date, we have harvested close to 4,300 pounds of nutrient dense produce, the majority of which was donated to food pantries, the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, the UDC  weekly CSA program, and other events.

In addition to Sandy Farber Bandier and Lorraine Weller who spent countless hours and braved various types of weather, we would like to especially thank the volunteers and student interns whose time and dedication helped to make this first season a success, including the Firebird Student Athlete Advisory Committee. See them in action:

The rooftop garden will open in Spring 2016, when tours will be available Tuesdays through Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The memories of a successful debut will carry us into 2016. And of course, we'll always have our Washington Post feature!

Next up: We grew soybeans!
One of the last crops harvested from the green roof this season was soybeans (or you might know them as edamame'). The soybeans bloomed late according to to Farber, but it was still a successful bumper crop. Here are five soybean facts from the Maryland Agricultural Research Council:
  1. The soybean first came to the United States in 1804.
  2. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 uses for soybeans.
  3. Soybeans are a type of legume and were used to restore soil in the South. Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil.
  4. The United States grows half of the world's soybeans.
  5. Soybeans are called the cow of China because more people drink soy milk than cow's milk.

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