An edible rooftop garden in Portland
From atop the Rocket building, there’s no doubt you’re smack in the middle of a city. Swing around in a circle and you’ll see the sun going down on Big Pink, the arching Fremont Bridge thronged with traffic, the new aerial tram creeping up the hill to OHSU and the green-and-white 7-UP building plunked down squarely to the east.
When you scrape your eyes off Portland’s skyline and focus on what’s going on just below eye level, you may begin to doubt your urban sureness. The usual flat-topped, tar-papered city rooftop has been overtaken by edible productiveness, food that ends up in front of customers at the new Rocket restaurant.
Although chef’s gardens are nothing new in the restaurant nirvana of Portland, Rocket’s rooftop commercial garden is the region’s first and shrinks the city’s footstep on the planet.
“If you look around and see all the flat roofs, you can start to imagine a food-sustainable city,” says Marc Boucher-Colbert, one of the partners who contracts with Rocket restaurant to design and maintain the garden. “We’ve taken away all this space, but we can reclaim it.”