BY CHRIS MARCIONE
With the environmental Renaissance in its infancy, many companies whose once-profitable goods have been delegated to the dustbin of technology are turning their sights to the environmental sector. One of those companies is Barthelmes Manufacturing Company, which specializes in sheet-metal fabrication. They are innovating and expanding into making edible walls: metal panels filled with soil that hang vertically from the side of a building and provide a means to grow fruits and vegetables. Growing vegetation on buildings is not a new idea; people have been doing it since the Middle Ages. But with the growing interest in the environmental health of our planet, there has been an increase in demand for developing systems that can grow vegetation on buildings in cities. That is were edible walls come in. The metal panels, filled with soil and seeds, would shade buildings, grow fruits and vegetables, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by providing local produce, thereby reducing the need for trucking it in to the cities. The hope is that grocery stores and schools will use this product to develop their own gardens in areas where there isn’t a lot of space. A product and concept like this could transform the urban landscape, covering buildings with vegetation and food and creating a cooling mechanism that would decrease the use of energy. The sky is the limit with environmental ideas and mechanisms that will reduce our impact on the world.
New York Times, Business of Green: The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall