The Toronto Star
writes on restaurant green roofs, the growing trend in Toronto's culinary scene. Featuring four celebrated Toronto restaurants -- Beast, Parts and Labour, Vertical and Weezie's -- the article looks at the challenges and the joys of growing your own food. An excerpt on Beast's green roof:
"Beast, 96 Tecumseth St."
"Growers: Rachelle and Scott Vivian, spouses and co-chefs, formerly of Church Street's Wine Bar."
"What they grow: Tomatoes, chili peppers, strawberries, edible calendula and nasturtium flowers, herbs and "corn by accident," said Rachelle. Planted on a whim, the cornstalks quickly shot up, and now the plants are flowering. The duo don't think they'll actually get cobs — but then again, they might."
"Challenges: Raccoons. One ate an entire plant of chili peppers. "I don't feel sorry for him," said Scott, "but I kind of do. Those things were spicy." Cucumbers and coriander just wouldn't grow, despite their best efforts."
"Joys: "Not having to go into the walk-in and open up a bag of herbs," said Scott. "That's definitely the most satisfying part."
"What they grow: Hard-to-find heirloom varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers, peas, beans, and Swiss chard. Shehata is particularly proud of the more than 40 varieties of heirloom lettuce."
"How he grows it: McAuley trawls construction sites for leftover wood hoarding, which he builds into bins. The upcycled greenhouse is entirely made from found and salvaged windows and doors."
"Challenges: "This year we went full tilt and failed," said Shehata. "Which is fine." Blasting heat wilted many of the plants, a problem exacerbated by a spongy soil mixture that didn't allow fledgling plants to properly root."
read full story here
original source Toronto Star