Friday, April 25, 2014

Soil Building Practices at Graze the Roof

Soil is one of the most important aspects of any diverse, dynamic and healthy garden. Today, volunteers worked together to swap out used soil with refreshed soil that we have amended with compost, perlite, worm castings and other micronutrients and minerals.

Graze the Roof practices a closed loop system, which means we reuse our soil. After we have a fruitful harvest we transfer the soil out of its container and replenish the container with refreshed soil. This way the new seeds and seedlings have access to an abundance of nutrients. We have found this technique to be really successful in our container gardening. 

Another way we apply worm castings in the garden is by making a 'compost tea,' which the plants love because it is an added natural organic mineral boost, that the plants are able to easily absorb.

Join us in the Garden every Thursday from 10am-2pm for our volunteer workdays. Learn about soil building, plant seeds, and support the development of the garden from our seasoned interns and project managers.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Teamwork Inspires a Highly Productive Work Day!

On Thursday, April 17th, Graze the Roof hosted two different corporate groups: and William Sonoma. Both companies believe in giving back to local organizations doing great work in the world. A day of service for and William Sonoma employees means they spend several hours volunteering with their co-workers, and local community members; Graze the Roof was thrilled to host this volunteer workday!

Everyone helped in various ways, from making and flipping the compost pile, to planting seeds and starts to organizing our resource pile, we accomplished a tremendous amount in a very short period of time. Many hands make light work!

Thank you to all of volunteers who came out on Thursday!

We look forward to seeing you in the garden soon!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Making Medicine in the Garden

On Sunday, April 13th, Graze the Roof hosted an exciting community workshop exploring the topic of Herbal Medicine Making...

Participants gathered together in the garden to learn about the many medicinal properties of a few powerful flowers, including calendula and chamomile. These two plants are from the, asteraceae family, otherwise known as the sunflower family. In addition we also studied lavender, which is from the lamiaceae family, the mint family. We learned that chamomile is very soothing for children, and lavender is known for relieving stress, anxiety and fatigue.  

The workshop featured a demonstration and teach-in on how to make your own Calendula infused salve, a medicinal ointment. Calendula flowers are known to be very soothing to the skin. They also have been used for centuries to heal wounds and an array of skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties. This makes Calendula useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed  skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings and diaper rashes. All these extraordinary qualities makes Calendula flowers ideal for a medicinal slave.

The salve was made from Calendula infused, organic olive oil. We extracted the infused oil using a tea towel. The next step is to melt beeswax into the oil; once the beeswax is entirely dissolved into the oil, you have created, calendula salve! We all went home with a small container of salve!

You can learn more about Margaretha, our inspiring herbalist instructor at her website : 

Thank you Margaretha for the inspiration and knowledge!

Stay tuned for our next FREE Community Workshops coming up in May and June!...


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Season of Aromatics ::: ONIONS AND GREEN GARLIC!

After many months of patiently waiting for our onions and garlic to mature, today we got the chance to harvest five pounds of red and white onions, and green garlic, as well as other ripe spring vegetables, including : green and red celery. 

After we harvested the onions and green garlic, we applied traditional farming techniques to clean our harvest. With this technique, all you have to do is take the outermost skin from the onion or garlic, and peel it back untill the skin meets the roots. At this point, you want to snip off the roots along with the peeled back skin, using a pair of garden shears or scissors. This cleaning method is highly beneficial considering the absence of water, especially in times of severe drought. 

It is always such an honor to bring our weekly harvest down to Glide Memorial Church's Soup Kitchen! The GLIDE chefs appreciated the seasonal harvest of aromatics.

Graze the Roof was discovered by a french couple traveling around the US and Canada who came and volunteered in the garden. During their stay, this is what they had to say,  “We were glad to help and learn about rooftop agriculture with Nik, Graze the Roof is one of our '5 free and cool things to do in SF' on our blog."

Check it out.

Come be a part of the gratifying and fun educational experience! Our volunteer days, are every Thursday from 10a-2p. No experience required!

Email with any questions you might have about our project!

Hope to see you in the garden sometime soon!

Spring is the season of aromatics...


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Graze the Roof on The Today Show!!

This Thursday Graze the Roof was featured on the TODAY SHOW !!

Don’t miss it! The program will be featured on Easter Sunday, April 20th 2014. 

The Today Show is a daily morning action television talk show that airs on NBC. The episode will feature Nik Dyer and The Today Show cast harvesting a variety of vegetables such as spring onions and mixed greens which we bring down to Glide Memorial Church’s soup kitchen! Our harvest helps to feed the locals living in the Tenderloin, providing many individuals with a hot meal made with love, featuring some of Graze the Roofs very own goodies!

Join us Every Thursday from 10a-2p with Nik and our passionate team of volunteers and interns as they help to steward the dynamic living landscape of our rooftop garden, bring something to share for our potluck lunch!