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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Monday Night Owls - 29 May 2017 - Hidden Rooftop Farms

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
We read an article about farms which are hidden on rooftops in Hong Kong:


Vocabulary Top 10:

amidst - in or into the middle of (something)

allotment - British : a small area of land that a person can rent to use as a garden

lush - having a lot of full and healthy growth; having a pleasingly rich quality

straddle - to be on both sides of (something); to have parts that are in (different places, regions, etc.)

niche - a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone;

stratified - divided into social classes; arranged or formed in layers

hard of hearing - not able to hear well

ingrained - existing for a long time and very difficult to change : firmly established

spontaneous - done or said in a natural and often sudden way and without a lot of thought or planning

stave off - to keep (someone or something) away usually for a short time

Would you like to have a farm on your roof?


  • BassaBassa Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    Hi @NatashaT , I cannot imaginate a farm on my roof and before this article I've never heard or seen something about that..I live in a small village where we have a lot of farmers and fields and often you can also choose to buy, for instance, salad, fruits or vegetables by your near farmer instead to go to the nearest supermarket..this could be thought as and advantage and effectively could be considerate like this if you like to live in countryside....For sure we would think that also food quality is better.....unfortunately nowadays nobody really know which kind of chemicals are used to growth vegetables or also which kind of foods are given to the animals like cows or pigs for example...
    "Mad cow desease" was born thanks to the bad cows alimenatation..corn instead of grass...
    Just to increase the milk production Man has changed cow diet and, I think, this is the same made to increase production and improve the aspect of vegetables, fruits ecc...
    We are more attracted by a big, red, perfect apple ? or by a small redgreen apple.. but which is more genuine ?

    So my opinion is: ok the new generation of farms but the important thing is to start with an healty and smart coltivation, trying to exploit the seasonality of different products...and this message I think should be considered from the rooftops farm in Honk Hong to the other farmers all over the world...
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
    @Bassa I guess you are lucky that you have plenty of space to grow fruits and vegetables near your village! Do people prefer to buy these things from the local farmers, or do most people still buy them from the supermarket?

    I think you are right - I think people are more attracted to the ´beautiful´ fruits and vegetables, even if they aren´t as natural or as tasty as the original ones.

    Do you think that these rooftop farms would be a good idea for the big cities in your country?
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,072 mod
    I would like to have a farm on my roof, but for (temporarily) three reasons I won't have it.
    1. I don't have green fingers.
    Any plants under my protection will die soon or later. More soon than later, to be honest.
    2. I don't think my roof is suitable for a farm.
    It is a flat roof, but it's also an old house and I'm afraid it won't be strong enough for all of pots and potting earth, water, the plants etc. And of course I'd like to have some garden furniture up there too. :)
    3. I don't think I'll feel safe with all that stuff on my roof.
    Even now, I'd already feel worried when it's raining very hard or stormy: how would I feel when I have a farm on my roof?

    No, I think I'll pass up this idea of a roof farm. :)
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
    In 2015 (!) we read another article on gardening - this time about planting gardens beside roads in LA, especially in poorer suburbs where there is a lack of fresh foods. I think you will all find it interesting too!


    @gam01hr @Rema @filauzio @aladdin @Bassa @april @torellip @Reem @Shiny03 @Nippur
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I apologise for writing too long a comment... I was inspired.

    They can sometimes go outdoor at dawn, only to be back home short after, just the time of taking a few paces, as if to welcome the arising of a new day, so saving us all this duty; the streets' rapid spotting with any kinds of traffic hurdles, in fact, make them anxious to seclude within four walls again.

    Midway through the morning, it takes them just a few minutes clangorous chatting with the next door neighbours, before an abrupt clank of the lift door shuting, is the starter's shot for them to go out again for their shopping at the local supermarket.

    Maybe they've either run short of the milk, which is the basic ingredient for all of their meagre meals, usually strictly out of prescription; or of the latest news about what's going on within their block: the kind of news the TV always fails to give account of.

    You can spot them, close midday, mingling with the rush hour's crowd, while walking along the street, a pet animal as unique company.

    Others are perhaps proceeding a bit leaned forward with curved shoulders, as if to stress and measure any paces, the hands crossed behind their back.
    They wear sun-glasses to protect eyes from the sun's beams, sometimes the catarat's operation's consequences playing a role in that fashionable bearings.

    Occasionally they rest, standing, by lying both hands on the hand rail of a fence, beyond which workmen are digging away.
    Their eyes promptly get watery and reddish with nostalgia of the time when they too were able to do such hard works: here they suddenly straighten up and seem about to address and utter something to the closest labourer.

    They struggle to gather and pick up appropriate words in their mind, the most friendly and sympathetic, giving for granted their past authority in the field is acknowledged though.

    But this effort is hard to them: this is the most difficult job they have to carry out these days: their memory is far more awkward tool to handle than a shovel for those in their manly age.

    You could think of them, the elderly, as kind of urban beasts, since they too are often compelled to arrange their lives in different temporal planes to the active citizens and workers.

    ' Know, dad ' I say, while driving him in my motor car ' that in Hong Kong they have experimented garden farming on top roof of high tower blocks ? It's also a good way for elderly people to socialize, take light exercise and stave off dementia... isn't it a progressive policy too ? '

    ' Yes ', says dad, putting on an astonished absorbed face, while looking at the steely, barren landscape.

    I come to a stop, I've got to the top roof of the building: it's a motor car parking, not exactly a garden farm therefore, although a few vases of plants are arranged all around the area, at an orderly fixed distance from one another.

    Any sprouts poking through the soil there ? I get closer and look: they are, all of them, covered up with garbage and cigarette ends: just the top roof farce of a top roof farm.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would love to have a farm on my roof rather than solar panels which makes our cities become a heat island. :(
  • BassaBassa Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    Hi @NatashaT , really I don't now why, but seems like people nowadays prefer to buy vegetables and fruits to the supermarket, I think is a matter of convenience...
    Today people work fulltime, Men and Women...everybody are busy and if you work half day you don't have to forget your house activities, like cleaning, garden and your children especially...
    So on the week-end you have to concentrate all the shopping, and the trend is to make it all in one place like the big shopping centers...
    Also if you have a farmer 1km far to your home, often you prefer make like this to avoid wasting time, because the farmer on Saturday/Sunday is closed and these days are those you are using to go for groceries ecc....
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I thought we don't have such things here, but I was wrong and I found something very interesting.

    Namba Parks: Because of those over three feet tall trees, it makes you feel like standing high on a mountain.

    Roppongi Hills

    @april I thought it was impossible at first, because it needs lots of water to grow rice and needless to say, it's on the roof, but they made it. How exciting!

    ACROS Fukuoka

  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rice planting at Roppongi Hills on Jun.2 2017. (They have been carried out this project for over 13 years. wow)
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,072 mod
    That's lovely, @Shiny03 , but how can I take care of them without a garden man? :)
    Are you going to help me? :)
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sure, I'll always be your man. But here's the problem I think we need more volunteers, cuz I'm really terrible at gardening. @april
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