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Inner City Roof Farming

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The idea of bringing a farm to the inner city seems to be an inherent contradiction. Nonetheless, the idea of roof farming is springing up in places like the boros of New York City.

Brooklyn Grange is a roof farm located on the rooftop of a building on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. The chief farmer is a man named Ben Flanner. He grows produce on a green roof system that used to be a flat roof that reached nearly 160 degrees at the height of the summer.

Now, the roof is much cooler and money is saved in cooling the building. This is in addition to the value of the produce grown on top of the roof. There is also extensive roof farming in Brooklyn, New York. A brand new affordable housing complex is planned for the South Bronx. The complex will host a huge rooftop farm. The greenhouse will reuse heat from the residential portion of the building and harvest rain water from the greenhouse roof.

Roof farming has big advantages. First, food can reach its market quicker with less transportation costs and spoilage. Second, local people can be employed to grow the food. The normal supply chain and marketing channels are bypassed so that food is homegrown and sold directly to consumers locally.

In essence, this idea is the ultimate in farm decentralization, as opposed to the concept of a complex food conglomerate. Additionally, there is a huge demand for locally produced food. Typically, celery, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are grown in the environment of a roof farm.

Neighborhood residents are the most likely consumers in close proximity to roof farms. There are other parties who need local produce. For instance, local restaurants, food franchises, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, nursing homes,
child care centers and grocery stores are just a few of the constituencies who could benefit from immediately available fresh neighborhood produce.

The thermodynamics of converting wasted heat energy to reusable energy is available quite easily. Roof farms simply locate near a bakery, cleaners, pizza store, large building or local brewery since these establishments tend to generate a lot of wasted heat from their continuous operations.

For example, a bakery or pizza shop ventilation system transfers heat to a thermal fluid. The system uses this heat as an energy input to heat or to store water for use in bathrooms, dishwashing, or heating residential or commercial spaces.

Like the Victory Gardens under President Truman, these rooftop greenhouses will increase the supply of food for the poor, as well as middle class families. The result will be better health outcomes from eating fresh food, as well as a reduction in prices due to the increased supply. In addition, rooftop farms can contribute toward gainfully employing local people living in the inner cities.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.