Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Grow crops on your wall!

Easily the most eye-catching display at the Go Green Expo was the wall full of living plants that drew attendees over to check out Philly Green Wall & Roof.

Grow crops on your wall!

A "green wall" outside Pure Yoga in NYC, from the company´s Web site.
A "green wall" outside Pure Yoga in NYC, from the company's Web site.

Easily the most eye-catching display at the Go Green Expo was the wall full of living plants that drew attendees over to check out Philly Green Wall & Roof. It's certainly something you don't see every day, though you may see it more often if these folks get their message through to enough homeowners.

The benefits of the "green roof" - i..e covering your roof with growing plants - are already well-established. The newest twist, though, is to apply the same practice to exterior walls, conferring an additional aesthetic benefit that previously was only visible to people who were invited up onto your roof.

According to "Green Wall Editor" George Irwin, whom you can hear on the attached two-minute podcast from the Expo (recorded during a particularly boisterous point, so there is some distortion here and there), a green wall allows you to grow not just decorative plants but functional, edible crops on your wall. Somehow, and you can get more information here, the technology allows roots to "migrate" around on the wall while still remaining firmly affixed within the vertical firmament.

Obviously, this is aimed squarely at urban dwellings, where space for planting in the ground can be severely limited. It's a fascinating trend among many initiatives to "green" our cities, and you can even find some of these already in Philadelphia. Who knows how many more we'll see if this trend catches on?

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

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