Rooftop gardens providing great produce

October 18, 2012 2:40:55 PM PDT
Space is a commodity in urban areas, which is why we have seen more and more rooftop gardens over the years.

There's one garden in a New York City neighborhood where the residents are especially thrilled to be growing their own food.

These New Yorkers never even knew they had green thumbs.

They do know that life has been tough in the past and now the chance to garden on their own property is a refreshing and empowering change.

Nemiah Bryan is in her element, gardening and growing, and she's doing it on the roof of her West Harlem building.

It's a sky garden atop Castle Gardens.

"What you'll see on this garden is a lovely green space to encourage people to be outside and enjoy nature and we're dealing with city folk teaching them to grow their herbs and use them in cooking," said Joanne Page, Fortune Society.

Joanne Page runs the fortune society which opened the building its home to a variety of tenants, including low income, formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated residents.

Life is just greener at Castle Gardens.

Contracts with two area farms to bring in fresh produce.

The residents learn to cook that produce along with what they grow.

This all fosters community as Edgar Saez has found.

"Its fun and I get to meet everyone in building, planting seeds, starting new friendships," Saez said.

They are friendships based around this healthy enterprise.

"It's like magic you plant it, its life affirming, it's a joyful thing," Saez said.

A joy blooms even further when Nemiah and her mom Barbara sit down to a meal with what they've grown.

"You can cook it, roast it, even eat it fresh," Bryan said.

So far 800 families and children have had cooking demos and taken home bags of fresh produce and the costs of such green living is covered by grants.

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