Watch “Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin from Our Virtual Summit 2013

January 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm

First of all, Happy New Year 2015!

In anticipation of’s spectacular 2015 Virtual Summit on April 6 through May 31 – and in order to familiarize you with the event – we are now making the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 videos publicly available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube to all free of charge.

Today we have the pleasure to air the Collaborative Video “Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin.  The current importance of urban agriculture is evidenced by the numerous food farms currently operating at many different scales and many different parts of the world.  We visit just 5 innovative approaches to growing local produce on horizontal and vertical spaces on rooftops and on the interior from Canada and the United States.


Watch Mohamed Hage, the founder of Lufa Farms in Montreal; Helen Cameron, co-owner of Uncommon Ground in Chicago; Ben Flanner, head farmer, CEO, and co-founder of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in New York City; George Irwin, the founder and CEO of Green Living Technologies International in Rochester; and Alan Joaquin, the founder of FarmRoof in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu.

Here’s more:

Mohamed Hage: The founder of Lufa Farms tells how his 31K-square foot greenhouse, opened in 2011, is bringing fresh vegetables year round to families in Montreal. Antiquated zoning regulations and building codes, rather than agriculture, were the most challenging hurdles before he could get his business “off the ground.” Hage believes that rooftop farms will change the fresh-food dynamic and vastly improve the way city-dwellers eat.

Helen Cameron: The co-owner of Uncommon Ground shares how the multiple-award winning restaurants in Chicago have been operating for 21 years as community-based, committed to supporting local farmers and purchasing as locally and sustainably as possible. Helen shares their mission of giving guests a high quality dining experience at a relatively affordable price, all while educating guests on the importance of a thriving, healthy local food system.

Ben Flanner: The head farmer, CEO, and co-founder of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, based in New York City, will take the audience on an overview of Brooklyn Grange. Ben will describe the green roof systems that the farm uses, soil media, the ins and outs of farming on a roof, sales and distribution, NYC’s first commercial honey producing apiary, and Brooklyn Grange’s other entrepreneurial activities.

George Irwin: The founder and CEO of Green Living Technologies International (GLTi) describes a scalable vertical farm that utilizes buildings, factories or otherwise unused spaces refurbishing them to grow quality produce. Utilizing the GLTi “A” Frame configuration, The Food Factory is dedicated to providing local jobs and is an educational, research and development facility as well as a place for community members to congregate. The concept of urban farms is not new, however the Food Factory is a year round vertical farm that uses high quality compost vs. hydroponic growing, with the prototype in Rochester.

Alan Joaquin: Based in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu, FarmRoof was founded by Alan Joaquin in 2008. With a focus on innovation, our company has invested heavily in research and development. The FarmRoof® system has been refined both on rooftops throughout Hawaii and at ground level on our mountainside farm. Our proprietary technology promises to forever change both the local food system and the urban landscape. We are deeply committed to cultivating a sustainable future for Hawaii and beyond. Protecting our planet’s natural resources and ensuring food security is critical to maintaining our cultural, social, and economic health. We are honored to be a part of positive global change. Our video will highlight the journey of this exciting new company, provide a glimpse of where we came from and where we are headed, and give an overview of the key management decisions that were made along the way.” ~ VS2013

Watch “Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin below or see it specifically on its own channel, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013:

Our second foray in the world of virtual conferences, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, was very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our field of living architecture.  This time partnering with the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), between and WGIN we produced 36 videos involving 59 esteemed international speakers, specifically: 22 Individual Presenters, including 5 Keynotes; 5 Panel Sessions; and 9 Collaborative Presentations.

Watch these other VS2013 videos released so far:

Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage? Opening Keynote Video by Aditya Ranade.

Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs – Areas Verdes de la Ciudad de Mexico & Azoteas Naturadas Video by Tanya Müller García.

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort Video by Jaron Lubin.

Phyto Kinetic: Gardens in Movement Video by Marc Grañén.

Profiles of Women Business Leaders Greening the Way Collaborative Video with Barbara Deutsch; Lexie Hain and Marguerite Wells; Vanessa Keitges; and Joy Schmidt.

Green Walls and Maintenance – Needs, Opportunities and Best Practices Panel Session Video with Melissa Daniels, Christopher Lyon, Steven Peck, and James Sable.

Reflections of a Green Roof Campaigner and Visions of the Future Keynote Video by Dusty Gedge.

Urban Green in Australia Video by Matt Dillon.

2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + Look into 2013 Collaborative Video with Linda S. Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

We hope you will join us in watching all of these as we present them!

Happy watching,

~ Linda V.

Also see these videos below in various languages on our exclusive Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 greenroofs.TV playlist:

Virtual Summit 2013 Highlights Video

Virtual Summit 2013 Trailer

VS2013 Linda Velazquez Promo

VS2013 Steven Peck Promo

VS2013 Julian Briz Promo – Spanish

VS2013 Matt Dillon Promo

VS2013 Manfred Koehler Promo – German

VS2013 Francois Lassalle Promo – French

VS2013 Eun-Heui Lee Promo – Korean

VS2013 Dorthe Romo Promo

VS2013 Wang Xianmin Promo – Mandarin Chinese

VS2013 Tanya Mueller Promo – Spanish’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video. Here is the transcript from June 29,  2012 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for June 29th,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  Banyan Street Manor Rooftop Farm & Vertical Gardens built in 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Located in the Kalihi section of Honolulu, Banyan Street Manor debuted the first USDA Certified Organic rooftop farm on top of an affordable housing project along with three vertical gardens.  A variety of Asian herbs and more than 20 types of produce including tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, and green beans will be grown on the roof.  40% of the produce will be grown free of charge to building residence and the remaining produce will be sold to Whole Foods Market and other local grocery stores.

Distributors of  Green Living Technologies International, 1st Look Exteriors, will manage and maintain the 790 sf of Green Living Walls and the 2,000 square foot roof top organic garden.  A cooling feature of Banyan Street Manor is a white roof, and photovoltaic panels generate electricity to power the common areas and offset overall operating costs.  It will also feature the largest living wall in the state.

– To learn more about the Banyan Street Manor  Rooftop Farm  &  Vertical Gardens,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 29: “Closing Keynote Address – Gardens By the Bay, Singapore” by Andrew Grant.

And find the rest of the videos in this series on our GreenroofsTV page and/or our greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

–  Guest Feature Article

– Read our Guest Feature Article, “Copenhagen, the Green City for the Third World Green Roof Congress,” by Dusty Gedge.

–  The eNewsletter

– Our June 2012 eNewsletter is out!  Check your inboxes for what’s been going on here all month long and if you’re not subscribed, click on the mail icon on our homepage and enter your e-mail address!  (Or  Subscribe  now.)

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  “˜Living Wall’ Is Part of Fashion Valley Makeover Plans installed by GreenScaped Buildings.

Industry News

–  EPA has released a series of six fact sheets on incorporating green infrastructure measures into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wet weather programs.  The series builds upon existing EPA authority, guidance, and agreements to describe how EPA and state permitting and enforcement professionals can work with permittees to include green infrastructure measures as part of control programs.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 29: Closing Keynote Address – Gardens by the Bay, Singapore” and “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: June 22, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

 June 30th: is the Early Bird Registration deadline for the World Green Roof Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 –  July 6th-8th: is the 2012 Perennial Plant Symposium, in Boston, MA.

– “In the News“

–  Melissa Harris, of the Chicago Tribune reports on “Living green wall planned for InterContinental Chicago.”  The chief executive of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Laurence Geller, plans to add life to the InterContinental Chicago hotel on North Michigan Avenue with a 9,800-square-foot green wall.  If approved by the City Council, this will be the largest wall of its kind in North America.  Chicago is known for its greenroofs but has few green walls, experts say, due to the cost and climate.

The new Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has a small indoor one, and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s new children’s garden has four outdoor walls that cover about a total of 670 square feet.  The team is working with Green Living Technologies International, which has great experience and built the walls at the botanic garden. The plants will be grown indoors and slowly, over several months, be rotated to a 90-degree angle before being planted on the wall.

–  Kevin Ma of the St. Albert Gazette, talks about “Garden experiment takes over Enjoy Centre roof.”  He says, “rooftop gardens bring efficiency and exotic tomatoes,” and that “city residents could get to eat Boxcar Willie in about a month if all goes well at an experimental rooftop garden at the Hole’s greenhouse.”  Volunteers gathered to help plant four rooftop gardens at the Enjoy Centre last week.  The gardens are part of an experiment by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to test the effects of plants on Alberta roofs.  The test modules on the four roofs contain custom-made dirt, that has specific nutrient and water-retention levels, sensors and plants.

The team will track heat, moisture, photosynthesis and carbon storage rates in the modules over the next five years.  They are also conducting an experiment with 61 tomato plants on the roof to see if they can grow local food.  These are black, purple, and striped tomatoes with names like Boxcar Willie and Amish Paste.  The team is growing 28 varieties, about 80% of which are heritage tomatoes; and if all goes well, the vegetables should be ready for the Prairie Bistro restaurant downstairs by August.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, being a member of our network on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for June 29th,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by*

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.