Potatoes on Rooftops Share this with a friend

Farming in the City

by Hadley Dyer

Best Bets List, Ontario Library Association Green Book Festival Award, Honorable Mention Skipping Stones Honor Award Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Canadian Children Literature Roundtable Information Book Award EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards, California Reading Association American Association for the Advancement of Science SB&F Best Books for Children List Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award nomination

All around the world, people are farming in the concrete jungle!

From high school students to high-rise dwellers, people—including Michelle Obama—are discovering innovative ways to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious fruit and vegetables at home, in community gardens, and at school. This brisk, informative overview explains how farming in the city is not only fun, but also important for the planet.

There are many ways to farm in the city: a Detroit high school program teaches students to grow food and raise chickens; in Tokyo, a bank vault was converted into an underground greenhouse; in Nairobi, local youth transformed part of a slum into a garden that helps feed their families. Read about modern inventions such as futuristic pod greenhouses, food-producing wall panels, and industrial-sized composters.

Short, kid-friendly descriptions and vibrant photos and illustrations keep the pace moving and the tone light. Toronto Public Health and FoodShare, two respected agencies, both have contributed to the book. Potatoes on Rooftops is the perfect book to get you thinking about how you, too, can grow food in the city.


“This title is small but mighty. A lot of relevant topics are hit on in a simple but powerful way. Not to be missed or dismissed.”
—School Library Journal, *starred review, 12/12

“You would do well to get your hands on this book if you have an interest in growing your own, or teaching others why it is important to consider. Now, get growing!”
—Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 08/29/12

“Fast-paced, light in tone and lots of great photos will keep kids interested in this unique gardening book.”
—Self Sufficient Quarter Acre, 09/17/12

“Dyer’s gift is a clear and fun writing style, but the content is totally up-to-date with the latest avant-gardener info from the field . . . It will open a lot of young people’s thinking to cool job possibilities they’ve never dreamed of before.”
—Wayne Roberts, Leading North American food policy analyst, 08/12

“You need this book in your classrooms, community centers and summer camps! Brimming with inviting visuals, and short, practical projects, it will give you and your kids a basket-full of ideas for getting growing, with hands in the soil.”
—Wally Seccombe, Co-founder and Chair of Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning Centre, Toronto, 08/12

“Hadley Dyer gives us a book that shows just how manageable eating locally can be and how important it is for personal health and the health of our planet. She also highlights the urban farming movement and shares a wealth of ideas for getting kids involved.”
—The Miss Rumphius Effect, 08/27/12

“Loaded with information and helpful hints, Potatoes on Rooftops just might inspire some individuals to join the urban farming movement and start small gardens at home or even at school.”
—CM Reviews, 10/12

“The best introduction to the new food movement that one could imagine.”
—January Magazine, 12/12

“Dyer underscores how each individual is a link in an important chain.”
—Publishers Weekly, 11/12

“Timely, attractively designed, and inspirational. Dig in!”
—Booklist, 12/12

“This is an excellent book for helping young readers learn about their options.”
—thatsallfolk.wordpress.com, 12/10/12

“Offers a multitude of ways . . . to help children become involved in ongoing urban gardening projects.”
—Science, 12/12

“A timely, beautiful, and accessible book about urban gardening.”
—Mackin Books in Bloom, 01/04/12

“The text is very well organized and information is clearly presented . . . Each page is enhanced with Informative, brightly colored photos and drawings.”
—Resource Links, 12/12

“Very highly recommended for upper level elementary through high school.”
—Science Books & Films, 05/13

“Hopefully, the book will be used to inspire young urban dwellers to start growing their own food in their backyards, on their balconies, at school or in a community garden.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 01/13

“Budding environmentalists and green thumbs will find much here to satisfy their thirst for knowledge.”
—Quill & Quire, 11/12

“Allows youth to connect with social issues in a way that provides concrete solutions and an easy way to engage and feel like they are contributing to something.”
—Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, 03/05/13

“Teachers interested in urban farming or starting projects for their classrooms will find this a valuable guide to share with students.”
—Reading Today Online, 05/22/13

“Will show you there are a myriad of doable possibilities to having your own garden; anything is possible.”
—The Nonfiction Detectives, 07/29/13

“Students are sure to love the colourful, factual and humorous nature of this book.”
—Canadian Teacher Magazine, 04/14