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Rooftop Farming, Elevated

Researchers, Urban Farm Team Up to Grow Produce Through Tech

By Mark Sherwood

To find a local patch of land with big potential for farming, consider looking up, not down.

That’s the idea behind a new University of Maryland program to plant the seeds of a new kind of urban agriculture on green roofs, with the goal of increasing food production and improving regional food and nutritional security.

John Lea-Cox, a professor of plant science and landscape architecture, and Andrew Ristvey, a University of Maryland Extension specialist, have partnered with Up Top Acres, a D.C.-based farm operator, to develop best practices for integrating rooftop farming with green roof technology.

Together, they’re overseeing research and implementing new technologies to monitor soil moisture, develop agricultural substrates for rooftops, and mitigate storm water runoff.



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