Thank you Janet Fuller for explaining our mission so well! We appreciate the good press and are proud to be starting this in Chicago!

These Women Want To Grow Plants and Crops on Your Roof -- And Pay You

By Janet Rausa Fuller

The Roof Crop, a rooftop farm

WEST TOWN — It's an unusual sight, this row of young fig, apple and pear trees growing in an industrial section of West Town.   

Stranger still: The trees have taken root in eight inches of soil, on a warehouse rooftop 15 feet off the ground.

In July, once the cover crop blanketing the roof at 1516 W. Carroll Ave. is fully established, the first daikon radishes and greens will be harvested. A few weeks after that, the tomatoes, peas and chard should be ready.

Green roofs and urban farms are on an upswing in Chicago. This one, The Roof Crop, is unique and not just for its unexpected location, founders Tracy Boychuk and Molly Meyer said.

Molly Meyer (l.) and Tracy Boychuk are the founders of The Roof Crop, a rooftop farming business in West Town.

The Roof Crop is centered around a contiguous growing system developed by Meyer, called Omni Ecosystems, that's unusually lightweight, irrigated and easily replicated.

Here's the twist in the business model: Acting essentially as tenant farmers, Boychuk and Meyer will install, maintain and harvest the Omni systems at other buildings under lease agreements.

For building owners willing to make the investment, this can translate into not only a food-producing, energy-saving roof but an income-generating one as well.


May 26, 2015 — Tracy Boychuk

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