Monday, 31 May 2010

Growing food on the roof of Budgens

This was a great way to spend part of my Bank Holiday Monday - helping to install a food growing site on the roof of Budgens in Crouch End! The aim of owner Andrew Thornton and his partner Azul Thome is to give local people the chance to grow food and then to sell any surpluses in the store. After a fun afternoon of planting we tucked into a freshly picked salad and an excellent bottle of Sancerre. Next year I'm hoping for a vin de Crouch End!


  1. Hi Alexis,
    I like your blog and am interested in getting my hands on a copy of your new book. I have always wanted to get more food, bee hives, plants and genereal green things onto roofs throughout towns and cities. The biggest obstacle I come across is the argument about structural capacity and health and safety issues. I wonder if you knew of any research, people or projects that have engaged in green roofing and who could help me organise something in the East Midlands.

    Many thanks,

  2. Hi Gordon

    I'm afraid you'll always have to do some sort of structural survey before trying to fit a green roof or doing a lot of food growing. The person who looked at the Budgens roof said the food growing had to be done off the roof surface so they using pallets to walk on and to place builders bags on.

    The Camden Town Hall roof turned out not to be strong enough for a full green roof so installed a sedum blanket which isn't ideal but better than nothing.

    Likewise health and safety is always going to be an issue on a roof, especially when you're working with children.

    I suggest you start by checking out as there's lots of info there.

    Rgds, Alexis