Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grazers of the Roof: Part Two of Series

Here, we meet another one of our volunteers in an ongoing series designated to the collective force driving our garden.


West Portal

New York.  Born in the Bronx, grew up in Long Island

Number of cats:
No cats.  Two guinea pigs and a tortoise

Top restaurant pick:
Gialina in Glen Park.  We don’t go out much, but their pizza is as good as I can make it.

Volunteer at Graze the Roof since:
About six months ago.

Favorite place to stop and look around at Graze the Roof:
I like to look at the lettuce beds in the back.  The textures and colors – just how fast the lettuce grows.  And the scarlet runner beans!  I like watching those.  The flowers are so bright.  I don’t know why I never noticed them before.

Roof snack of choice:
Lettuce – no, those alpine strawberries!  I’m always looking for those.

What do you enjoy most about coming here?
I like it because it’s physical.  I would rather work with my hands or play in the dirt than stuff envelopes.

Don't stuff envelopes.  Volunteer!  Be a part of Graze the Roof every Thursday from 10am - 2pm at Glide.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer FEAST in the Garden

A BIG Thank YOU to our collaborators who helped to bring our Summer Feast to life! Feastly, https://www.eatfeastly.com and the phenomenal local chef, Caetie Ofish @Catiefish helped us bring a vision of hyper local seasonal eating to life. We welcomed 17 community members to the garden on Sunday July 20th and feasted on Graze the Roof grown fruits and vegetables like never before! Caetie's creative genus and innovative approach to cooking and plating created a meal that we will never forget. Everyone had a wonderful time and we can't wait for future meals in the garden next year!

The Menu :::

Radish Tartines ~ Josey Baker Bread, Thyme Butter, Maldan Salt

Chamomile and Lavender Sparkling Tonic ~ Lemon Sorbet Floater!!!

Spicy Nasturtium and Rooftop Greens Salad ~ Coriander+Honey Vinaigrette

Four Onion Frittata ~ Edible Flowers, Chèvre, Huacatay Pesto

Roasted Rooftop Veg ~ Carrots, Summer Squash, Fennel Fronds, Scarlett Runner Beans

Mentuccia Biscuits ~ Preserved Meyer Lemon Honey

Cream Tarts ~ Vanilla Bean + Wild Alpine Strawberries


Friday, July 11, 2014

Grazers of the Roof: Part One of Series

As part of an ongoing series, we meet with one of our volunteers in the garden!


San Francisco


Number of cats:
Two.  Weegee and Yellowboy.

Top restaurant pick:
That’s hard, man.  Either Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack or Weird Fish.

Volunteer at Graze the Roof since:
This is my second day!

Favorite place to stop and look around at Graze the Roof:
I like to smell the tomatoes.

Roof snack of choice:
Those little strawberries here are good.

What do you enjoy most about coming here?
Sharing a freshly picked meal after a hard morning’s work.  It makes the weeding and gardening pay off.  Everyone brings a little contribution and it all comes together with people that you didn’t even know before that day.

Come join the crew!  Volunteer days at Graze the Roof are every Thursday from 10am to 2pm.  330 Ellis Street, between Taylor and Jones.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

And Now, We Feast

Graze the Roof is excited to partner with Feastly for an upcoming brunch Sunday July 20th.   Feastly connects adventurous diners, passionate community members, and tasteful food enthusiasts for unique food experiences.  This collaboration is a great opportunity to fundraise for the garden, as well as increase access to and awareness of the rooftop garden itself.  In addition, we gardeners LOVE food and joining the vibrant members of our community around the table to share it with.

Our chef for the event, Caetie Ofiesh, is a Bay Area chef specializing in local and fresh ingredients for the adventurous palate.  She pulls flavors and textures from a wide range of cuisines and combines them with the best local seasonal produce to create satisfying, compelling meals.  Caetie is a mobile chef who does most of her grocery and market shopping on her bike, which helps to support her rampant sweet tooth.

We look forward to inspiring conversation and delicious seasonal eats.  The money raised will support the next phase of Graze the Roof...

In January of 2015 we will begin the first phase of Graze the Roof 2.0: a redesigned and reimagined approach to urban rooftop container gardening.  We envision an integration of aquaponics, a lightweight greenhouse, more vertical gardens and more!  Updates will be on our blog and Facebook page, as well as by email at grazetheroof@gmail.com

We very much look forward to seeing everyone at the brunch!

Take a look at the menu, how to get tickets, and get more information regarding all that Feastly does here!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Bachelor Button?

“A bachelor button?” one volunteer asked.

Nodding his head ‘yes,’ another pops the feather-like handful of violet pedals into his mouth.

“Is it that the bachelor is the ‘button’ and the petals are all the ladies ready to flock?  Or are they already flocking?”

He shrugs, gripping the flower’s pedals in his fingertips to pluck them off, ready for another bite.

Grown as ornamental, used in teas, Estonia’s national flower, and cultivated by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, John F. Kennedy’s favorite flower is said to even treat conjunctivitis.  The perplexing colloquial name of the centaurea cyanus does not explicitly scream ‘bachelor,’ but here at Graze the Roof, the tall swaying plant provides great color to our garden and to our volunteer day’s lunch.

This self-seeding annual was brought to America from Europe in the 17th century and can grow up to three feet in height.  Its periwinkle florets spike out, resembling tiny instrumental horns.  Today, the plant makes for a lively bouquet after a fun day in the sun at the roof garden, and can easily provide a light (bachelor?) snack on the way home.

Come join the curiosities every Thursday at Graze the Roof!  Volunteer hours are from 10am to 2pm.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Fragaria Vesca Treat

On the roof at Glide, it’s hard not to forage while doing other gardening tasks.  Snail hunting?  Try some of that arugula just an arm’s reach away.  Pruning the tomato plants?  Go ahead, take a little piece of the wasabi mustard for a spicy bite.  Watering?  Snap a bit of that invitingly fragrant basil off for a taste.

With so many edible options available at the garden, no matter what job you have or which corner of the roof you are on, there is one plant that will find you:  the fragaria vesca.

More commonly known as the alpine strawberry, this California native plant has leaves that look like spiked ovals.  With tall thin stems and small white flowers, it is easy to miss the beautifully tiny strawberries that sometimes hang just beneath the foliage.  But when discovered, the delicate berry is quite the treat.

This week they were perfectly ripe and the berries never looked so ruby red.  Our volunteers were lucky enough to catch a good lot of them before decomposing as their delicate nature does not allow them to last very long.  More often then not however, the snails find them first!

Snackers should also take note that this plant is a volunteer in the Graze the Roof garden.  They were never intentionally planted, but just like the gardeners who donate their time to Glide, they are warmly welcomed!

Graze our roof here at Glide every Thursday from 10am-2pm.