Roof farming

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b.good is a four-restaurant chain that wears its principles on its sleeve, which include emphasis on whole foods and community. That makes for likely kinship with the folks at Green City Growers, whom I wrote about for the Globe this week. 

As I mentioned in the story, GCG installed a quirky rooftop veggie garden at b.good's Brookline location, a former gas station on Harvard Street. But since it was tangential to that story, I didn't go much further. Still, I was interested enough to return to the topic here.


Greens in the foreground, tomatoes in the background

A portion of b.good's rooftop kiddie-pool garden. Greens grow in the foreground, and tomatoes grow toward the street below.

In an interview, co-owner Jon Olinto was eager not to oversell the endeavor, saying that, for now, he and partner Anthony Ackil don't expect to replace their veggie needs with their ultra-locally grown crop. He said they intend to have a community event once a month or so in the growing season in which they'll celebrate with reduced-price salads and entrees.

b.good's garden access systemI was able to visit with the help of store manager Jardel (I failed to note his last name), who not only showed me around up there, but held the ladder on the way down.

The planters are 10 kiddie pools, dispersed around the tarpaper roofing. Olinto said they're farming only in Brookline so far, but they intend to approach landlords at locations in Boston and Cambridge.

BTW: We had occasion to be in the neighborhood a few days after I stopped there as a rendezvous point with Demita Frazier of Green City Growers, and four of us dined quite happily. I like how the menu is set up — four sandwich centers (beef, turkey, and veggie burgers, plus chicken), prepared in six styles, plus salads and sides. I keep my food no-sugar-no-flour-no-red-meat, which almost always limits my choices when out, but I had plenty to choose from. I'd imagine that if I felt fairly unrestricted, just about anyone would be happy there. 

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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