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Extreme Urban Agriculture In Baltimore

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Arthur Morgan tends to vegetables planted on the roof of the Hamilton Tavern in Baltimore.
Regina Lansinger
Arthur Morgan tends to vegetables planted on the roof of the Hamilton Tavern in Baltimore.

By Cathy Duchamp

Sustainability is moving up the political agenda in cities across the region. In Baltimore that translates into growing support for urban agriculture.

Arthur Morgan is pushing the urban farming envelope.

"Peppers, eggplant tomatoes, we’re doing corn and sunflowers, beans," says Morgan.

These crops aren’t growing in the ground. They’re taking root on the roof of the Hamilton Tavern in Northeast Baltimore.

"A lot of these roofs are really strong. These are all industrial warehouses and stuff like that. The strength is here, why not farm it?," he asks.

Morgan is head farmer in what’s called the Hamilton Crop Circle. The volunteer group has gotten businesses to donate rooftop space, and a school to rip up a parking lot for a community garden. Morgan says getting support is like planting a seed. All you see is dirt for awhile, but then something starts to grow.

"So sunflowers, celery, bok choy, okra’s popping up, mint, we’ve got beets, we got spinach, see the spinach is starting to climb over there," points out Morgan.

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