Old Forge Brewing Co., Danville, Pa.
American Pale Ale / 5.5% ABV
In early February, Philadelphia watering holes welcomed Old Forge Brewing Company to their taps with a series of events celebrating the brewer’s newly broadened distribution. Among their suds is a new canning line of 16 oz. Endless Summer and T-Rail Pale Ale.
You would think Greg Scott was talking about building bookshelves from a box, not installing a solar array on his roof. “Once you know how to build stuff for a reason, you sort of figure out how to build things,” he explains. Scott, together with his do-it-yourself partner Tom Weissert, thinks we can do it, too.
Scott and Weissert have installed both a solar hot water system, which heats water with solar warmth, and a photovoltaic (PV) array, which converts sunlight into electricity, on Weissert’s house in Narberth, and they are close to installing another PV system at Scott’s house in West Philly.
Scanning the puddled, coal tar roof of the SHARE Food Program’s distribution center in North Philadelphia, it’s hard to imagine the expansive space as an active farm. The warehouse sits at the highly trafficked corner of Henry and West Hunting Park Avenues, amidst a tangle of power lines, abandoned buildings and the decommissioned Tastykake factory. But if you were to add a row farm, raised beds and a few greenhouses to the roof, the view might not seem so bad.
Embracing an Ancient Practice
Down on the ground, Philadelphians are enthusiastic about urban agriculture. With a healthy crop of community organizers, food justice advocates and young farming professionals, the city has quickly become a national leader in metropolitan food production. Local trendsetters continue to use diverse urban agricultural techniques, applying them to vacant lots, community garden plots, backyards and balconies. But what about rooftops?