Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 5/30/16
Ryerson Urban Farm (formerly Rye’s Homegrown)
10,000 sf. Greenroof
Project of the Week Description & Details
Ryerson University is home to a quarter acre rooftop farm on the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. Originally built in 2004, this green roof was converted into an edible garden in 2013 by Ryerson’s student-initiated garden group, Ryerson Urban Farm (formerly Rye’s Homegrown). Since then, more than 1,000 people have visited the farm through tours, workshops and events. In 2015, the farm produced nearly 8,000 pounds of produce, distributed between Ryerson’s campus kitchens, the Gould Street Farmers’ Market, and to volunteers through a weekly food basket.
With the help of students, staff and faculty, Ryerson Urban Farm (RUF) has created an urban farm with more than 30 crops and over 100 varieties. They started with a pilot project in 2013 in one section of the green roof using the permaculture technique of sheet mulching. After the tarps were removed, RUF created raised beds by digging 18” paths and 30” beds and added two inches of compost bringing the original soil depth from 6” to 12”. Drip irrigation was installed along with biodegradable mulch for weed suppression added to each bed, except for one to allow for direct seeding in dense spacing. In 2014, due to the success of the pilot project RUF began the conversion of the entire green roof into a small-scale farm/market garden, completing it in 2015. The 10,000 square foot rooftop utilizes a five-year crop rotation, and food produced in the market garden is sold at Ryerson’s weekly Farmers Market in the spring, summer, and early fall. It is also supplied to food services to incorporate into campus dining and catering menus. RUF also utilizes Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs to distribute fresh grown vegetables. RUF aims to build capacity for urban agriculture through production, education, and demonstration. Set in one of Canada’s most densely populated neighborhoods, this innovative project demonstrates the potential for the urban landscape to be used to produce food as well as to contribute to the health and well being of both our community and our environment.
NOTE: We are excited to be visiting the Ryerson Urban Farm on Saturday, June 4 on a tour with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ 4th Annual Grey to Green Conference on Green Infrastructure and Climate Change – can’t wait to see the farm in action!
Owner: Ryerson University
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Building Type: Commercial
Size: 10,000 sq.ft.
Access: Accessible, By Appointment
Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Urban Agriculture Coordinator: Arlene Throness, Ryerson University
Rye’s HomeGrown Co-creator: Catherine Lung, Ryerson University
Community Garden Support: Carrot City Initiative of the Architectural Science Department, Centre for Studies in Food Security, and Office of Campus Facilities and Sustainability, Ryerson University
Design, Installation & Maintenance: Staff, Students, Faculty & Volunteers, Ryerson University
View the PROJECT PROFILE to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.
Project of the Week Video Feature
Watch the Ryerson Urban Farm (formerly Rye’s Homegrown) Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:
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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!
By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP