On the heels of South Philadelphia High School
's crowdsourced fundraising campaign
for its Greening Master Plan and rooftop farm, Lauren Mandel, one of the project’s landscape designers, has released EAT UP
The first full-length book about rooftop food production, EAT UP was published internationally by New Society Publishers
, a carbon-neutral publishing house.
Mandel divides the book into three sections: one for small-scale rooftop gardeners, one for large-scale farmers, and one for urban planners and designers interested in implementing rooftop farming on a neighborhood scale.
The book is the culmination of three-and-a-half years of research for Mandel, who works as a project manager and rooftop agriculture specialist at the local green roof firm Roofmeadow
. She started the book while still studying landscape architecture at Penn.
started as an academic exercise, asking 'Is rooftop agriculture viable?'" explains Mandel. "After quickly learning it was, I realized that what people need is an accessible, comprehensive resource on the matter."
In an increasingly urban America, more and more people are turning to their roofs as platforms for growing local, sustainable food. Places like New York, Portland and Chicago all have burgeoning rooftop agriculture communities. In Philly, the movement is just taking off.
"Small-scale home gardens are popular here," says Mandel. "For large-scale projects, we’re not quite there -- but we're on the cusp.”
EAT UP is available in print and ebook from New Society Publishers, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and local book stores.
: Lauren Mandel, project manager and rooftop agriculture specialist, Roofmeadow
: Greg Meckstroth