I am a teacher at a K-through-12 school in Bangkok, and in the past year we have transformed our concrete rooftop into a thriving vegetable garden. The rooftop garden gives our students the opportunity to learn valuable gardening skills. We also sell our organic produce to the parents and staff, which provides income to buy more seeds and supplies. Students have been involved in the process from the beginning.
One of our first priorities was to build about 50 raised garden beds. We were able to do this thanks to a donation of 100 wood pallets. Staff and students dismantled each pallet one by one and rebuilt them into 6 2/3-by-2 1/3-foot beds. The gardening crew lined the beds with old plastic sheeting that had previously been used for advertising school events. As time has gone by, we’ve built more garden beds. We have also started making our own compost, and we’re about to begin experimenting with aquaponics — the garden coordinators just sent out a request to the school community for old bathtubs!