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Posts Tagged ‘david l. ryan’

The Globe has a good story today on Whole Foods, which hired an urban farming company to grow an anticipated 10,000 pounds of food per year on the roof of its Lynnfield, Massachusetts, store.

Erin Ailworth writes, “The soon-to-open Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield will offer its customers something the company says no other major grocery chain has offered before: ‘rooftop produce,’ picked from a field atop the store. …

“Whole Foods and its contractors say the commercial roof garden is an experiment that, if it succeeds, could encourage other grocers to do the same, boosting efforts to expand rooftop gardening. Such gardens not only insulate buildings, lowering heating and cooling costs, but also decrease storm-water runoff, which can overwhelm sewer systems and carry pollutants into waterways.

“And they yield fruits and vegetables that do not need to be trucked or flown, cutting transportation costs and emissions, including of greenhouse gases. The rooftop produce — a tiny fraction of Whole Foods’ inventory — will be sold in the Lynnfield store or used in its prepared foods.

“A green roof, however, is not cheap. It can cost up to 60 percent more than a traditional roof, according to the Sustainable Cities Institute, a program of the National League of Cities. …

“Whole Foods began thinking about the project three or four years ago, [Robert Donnelly of Whole Foods] said, and at first planned to build a basic green roof — essentially, a lawn atop the store. Then the company came across Green City Growers and Recover Green Roofs, two Somerville companies that partnered on a 4,000-square-foot garden above the Ledge Kitchen & Drinks restaurant in Dorchester. (That garden provides about 75 percent of the veggies and herbs served at the Ledge.)

“Whole Foods’ plans quickly became more ambitious as company officials realized the 45,000-square-foot roof (nearly an acre) provided plenty of space for farming.” More. There’s also a fun video at the Globe site showing the construction of the roof farm.

Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog had another roof garden post here; a post about Glide Memorial’s roof garden here; and a related entry about the Guardian Environment Network, here.

Photo: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Workers dumped soil into containers on the Lynnfield Whole Foods roof, which was reinforced to bear the extra weight.

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Suzanne pointed me to a special story about a high school classmate, Taishana Lewis, whose gratitude to the EMTs who saved her brother’s life led to a career change.

Melissa M. Werthmann wrote about it in the Boston Globe today.

“A worried sister called her younger brother one warm June night in 2009 to see if he wanted a ride home. There was no answer.

“Taishana Lewis soon learned that Matthew Lewis-Grant had been shot five times while leaving a barbecue. Thanks to the efforts of Boston EMS responders, Lewis-Grant survived the drive-by shooting.

“Now his sister is determined to give someone else the same chance. Grateful for her brother’s rescue and inspired by the commitment of emergency responders, Lewis graduated from the Boston EMS Academy today.

“ ‘I’d like to be able to give back what was given to my family and hopefully give someone that same reward of getting their loved one back,’ Lewis said. …

“Lewis-Grant, 25, now lives in Florida, but made the trip back north to see his sister graduate as an EMT and pin the badge on her at the ceremony, she said.

“ ‘He’s excited,’ she said. ‘He’s super-proud.’ ” More.

Photograph: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Taishana Lewis, with son Tyler Lewis looking on, gets her badge from her brother, Matthew Lewis-Grant.

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