We got a late start on the rooftop garden this year. April showers turned into May showers (lots of May showers), graduation season sneaked up on us and business just got in the way of planting I guess. But this gave me a little more time to think about what we did right and wrong last year and how to change our approach. The basic realization was that we should keep things simple. Plant a lot of what we use the most and keep it growing as far into the season as we can. These things happen to be basil, mint, and tomatoes. We also threw in some bee friendly flowers to keep our resident bee population happy.
Our restaurants and bars at The Lenox go through anywhere from 1-3 pounds of mint and 2-4 pounds of basil per week depending on business levels. Each of our containers on the roof should produce anywhere from 2-5 pounds of fresh herbs during the season, not enough to stop us from purchasing from outside vendors completely, but enough to supplement for the summer months. Last year’s tomato harvest produced about 4 quarts of exceptional cherry style tomatoes. This year we went with 2 varieties of large heirlooms, Mr. Stripy and Black Prince. Both mature in about 80 days, with any luck they’ll be hitting plates by the end of August.
I was on the roof the other day with the intention of watering the flowers we planted, a spectacular perennial called Dianthus Kate and the striking Salvia Nemerosa, and as I approached the containers I realized the spires of the salvia seemed to be alive. Our bees were busy at work, I sat on the roof for a minute before I remembered all the work I had to do. The watering would have to wait.
For a taste of our summer bounty, come in and check out our seasonal menu at City Table!