Rooftop farmer Up Top Acres raising money for rooftop kitchen

WASHINGTON — D.C. based Up Top Acres, which got its start planting rooftop farms in the local area in 2014, is raising money to add a rooftop teaching kitchen at one of its area rooftop farms.

Up Top Acres launched its first-ever Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign Feb. 28 with a goal of raising $30,000 to expand its business and train farmers. The 30-day campaign raised the full $30,000 within one week.

It has now stretched the goal to $40,000 in order to build an outdoor kitchen on the roof, adding space to ramp up its educational reach.

Up Top Acres said the small kitchen will be able to host kids and adults for classes and workshops exploring the uses of fresh plants, from cooking to plant-based medicine. Additional funding will also allow it to host monthly field trips for local public schools, at no cost to the schools.

It is also offering some perks to contributors, including rooftop yoga classes, happy hours, and farm-to-table dinners with local chefs.

Up Top Acres currently manages five rooftop farms in D.C. and Maryland covering two acres.

Its newest, opening in April, is at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, and will be a membership farm, called community-supported agriculture and will sell about $25 worth of fresh produce weekly to Pike & Rose office workers and residents.

Its other rooftop farms have partnered with nearby restaurants and chefs, including Jose Andres’ Jaleo Bethesda.

It also has restaurant partnerships with Blue Jacket, Equinox, Little Red Fox, The Oval Room, A Baked Joint and Glen’s Garden Market.

The teaching kitchen is planned for its rooftop farm at 55 M Street, S.E. in Capital Riverfront.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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