Asmita and Rachana are close friends. They study in the same class and they used to go to school together. They were in touch virtually due to lockdown. After 8 months, today they decided to meet each other in the same cafe where they used to go regularly. Rachana reached the cafe and Asmita came after 10 minutes and their conversation started.
Asmita: Hello, how are you? You look so charming!
Rachana: Hey, nice to meet you. Do I look charming? Oh! then it may be the result of rooftop farming (she laughs).
Asmita: RoofTop Farming (a little confused)?
Rachana: Yes, Haven’t you heard about it?
Asmita: (excited) I have listened to that word but still I want to know more about it.
(Orders tea: Two milk tea and 2 plate chicken MO: MO after 30 minutes)
Rachana: (Takes tea) Ok then listen. Rooftop farming is commonly known as ‘Kaushi Kheti’ which means we can cultivate different food crops and vegetables on the roof of our buildings. This is usually done in the city areas where there are no adequate farming lands.
Asmita: That’s interesting. What can we grow on rooftop gardens?
Rachana: (Smiles) You can grow vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, chilly, spinach, broccoli, coriander, garlic, onions and you can also grow strawberries and little trees of guava and lemon.
Asmita: Can we use fish crates and bottles to grow them?
Rachana: Yes, exactly, plants can be grown on them and you can also use plastic jars, plastic bags, jute bags, and drums as well.
Asmita: Well, I am imagining all these vegetables on the roof of my house. And what things we must be careful about before installing a rooftop garden in the existing building?
Rachana: For this, first of all, you must be careful about the capacity of your roof. The size and strength of your roof will determine whether you build a large scale or small scale roof garden. For higher density planting, the floor can be filled with soil by waterproofing the concrete roof. It acts as a barrier to prevent water seepage from above. There are different layers to set up the base. We can use light containers after that to grow the veggies.
Asmita: What other benefits will we have from rooftop farming?
Rachana: It has numerous benefits. It reduces the heat of buildings, the ambient temperature; we can get fresh oxygen as well. It also captures the rainwater and even we can eat healthy and organic foods. It can also be the place to get refreshed.
Many cities are trying to enhance sustainability by improving and promoting urban greenery. By installing rooftop farming, it can contribute to the mitigation of environmental problems by reducing pollutant concentrations and noise and help in the development of urban food systems. It has both ecosystem value and aesthetic value and improves urban psychology. In urban cities, we all are busy with our work and we do not have enough time to get refreshed. Improving urban psychology means getting out of the monotonous tasks and feel relaxed.
Asmita: You are right. It seems very interesting. I will talk to my parents about it.
Rachana: (Shows some photographs of her roof garden) you are welcome to my home to see my roof gardens. It is very much more beautiful in real life than in pictures.
(The waiter served MO: MO on the table.)
They ate and took some selfies and then went home.