Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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green idea Green Roof Growth With real estate growing tighter, more restaurants and foodservice operators are carving out space on their rooftops to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs — and even manage beehives. By Amelia Levin G reen roofs are part of a hyperlocal movement taking the nation by storm as chefs and operators look to go beyond working with local farmers to grow and source right from their own immediate surroundings. In fact, hyperlocal food was ranked No. 1 on the National Restaurant Association's What's Hot culinary forecast for 2017, up from the No. 3 slot in 2014. Noble Rot in Portland, Ore., has led the charge for some time now, with its 3,000-square-foot rooftop garden. Essentially a complete ecosystem, the garden — hydrated naturally by an aqui- fer beneath the building — supplies food for the restaurant, and serves as a learning center for the city about urban agriculture. The LEED Platinum building was built with the space for the garden in 2005, and ever since then Noble Rot Chef/ Co-Owner Leather Storrs has expanded the garden each year, with the most changes happening between 2012 and 2015. "I worked with our architect to build some steel raised beds to replace the 50 plastic kiddie pools we started with," says Storrs, who made the switch out of concern that plastic could leech into the soil and into the food. The two-foot by six-foot beds with built-in pond runners allow irrigation water to drain directly off the roof. Cur- rently, the garden supplies about 40 percent of the restau- rant's produce during peak summer seasons, dropping to 20 percent during other times of the year. An avid gardener, Storrs tends to the garden himself, but also gets help from passionate staffers and a full-time gar- dener and assistant. During harvest season, the group comes together to pluck vegetables, fruits and herbs each day. Storrs works with the gardener to choose which types of produce to plant, but the gardener will also make decisions as well. For instance, fava beans — while they taste delicious — also help develop nitrogen in the soil, and the leaves and flowers of the plant can be used for garnish and flavor enhancers since it takes a lot of fava beans to get to a usable amount. "People think of these things as a byproduct, but to be able to include the whole plant helps cut down on waste and it's really unique to having your own garden," Storrs says. Noble Rot's gardening team also produces 25 different kinds of herbs and an array of greens. Storrs also tries to incorporate interesting and heirloom varieties of produce, like tramboncini, an Italian squash, to help differentiate his product "in a very competitive market." Irrigation Green roofs require careful irrigation planning because of the direct heat and sun they receive. Instead of having to wa- ter for hours on end, many operators will use special planter boxes and/or drip irrigation systems meant to keep the soil moist and drain off the proper amount of water. It's possible to run hoses up to the roof, but Noble Rot is lucky; during the initial construction of the LEED building, architects came upon a natural aquifer beneath the ground. The water is used to irrigate the garden, as well as supply gray water to the plumbing system. However, Storrs and his team had to add additional minerals to the water to tone down the acidic levels, which originally harmed the plants. By adding coffee grounds and other natural soil amendments, the team has been able to improve the pH balance of the water. Structural Considerations One very important consideration when designing and imple- menting a green roof is the weight of the beds, soil and people on the rooftop. In some cases, the building will need to be modified with secondary decking or supports that can help ©2017 InSinkErator InSinkErator is a business unit of Emerson Electric Co. *Source: United Nations Environment Programme While there's no single solution for managing global food waste, we can all take simple steps that have a positive impact on the environment – like using an InSinkErator® food waste management solution to divert food waste from landfills. • 800-845-8345 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never eaten.* FOOD WASTE FACT:

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