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Silver Tar to Green Oasis

At the top of a three story walkup sits an unused space. A silver reflective tar roof that is great for laying out in the summer for a tan and watching the sunset on pretty spring nights. The roof doesn't look out on any spectacular views of the city, unless you count the apartments to one side whose windows are thankfully usually shuttered. To the north are the backyards of homes that eventually lead to the recess area of a school while the south faces the street, the tall branches of a tree obscuring the view of the building across the way.

The space has been left empty, my landlady hesitant to allow us free use. But after years of being in the apartment I felt it was time to change that. The sun beats down on the roof, not doing much in the winter but heating up our top floor apartment to extreme temperatures in the summer.

Growing up we had a house in Florida with a backyard that my mother claimed as her own. My father made her wooden beds and she would patiently spend her time working the soil. She grew some food but what I remember so distinctly was the huge sunflowers blooming at the far end of the garden. As I've grown up and realized the true value of food, I have felt a need to at least learn the steps I need to in order to grow my own garden. I may not have the green thumb my mother does (I killed a bamboo plant in college) but I have to start to actually find out.

In my grarden I see a hodgepodge of containers. Some are sitting on the roof surface itself while others are sitting on raised crates. I see something simple to begin, just a few herbs, a few vegetables to help me get comfortable with the vision that I eventually see manifesting from this journey. I see the boxes my plants are growing in made of different shapes and sizes, items I can find around my apartment and others on sale around the city.   I see basil and cilantro, tomatos and mushrooms, peas and carrots, maybe even strawberries.  

 

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