March 1, 2010
Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR. Falcon Valley Group
619-997-2495 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Meltz, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group
646-572-6359 or email@example.com
GreenScaped Buildings Installs Edible Wall for Chef Mario Batali
Wall for Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza first of its kind in California
(Los Angeles) – Patrons visiting Chef Mario Batali’s popular Los Angeles restaurant Pizzeria Mozza will enjoy the ultimate in fresh ingredients and learn about sustainability thanks to the installation of a cutting-edge “edible wall” at the restaurant this week.
The first of its kind at a California restaurant, edible walls or green walls are structures that allow plant materials to grow on a building, but have the added benefit of allowing them to grow on vertical spaces indoors or outdoors. Both types of walls grow in “found space,” using far less space than typical gardens. Edible walls can be planted with herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Cutting edge chefs and restaurant owners across the nation are embracing edible walls, including Batali and his partner Nancy Silverton. Their wall was installed by Jim Mumford of GreenScaped Buildings of San Diego. Mumford is well-known as San Diego’s “green roof guy” and a green wall pioneer.
“We’ve always been leaders in our industry when it comes to sustainability, and a green wall is just the logical next step,” said Batali. “Now that the wall is reality, we hope it will start meaningful conversations and create awareness among our patrons about sustainability. This is an issue we’ve always been concerned about and taken a leadership role on in our industry. Plus, this wall is a fun and cool thing to have.”
Mumford constructed and planted the wall at his San Diego-based GreenScaped Buildings facility in December. It was allowed to grow horizontally for eight weeks before being transported to Batali and Silverton’s restaurant and installed vertically into place with the plants and especially the roots well established.
Among other varieties, the wall is planted with mint, endive, Chinese celery, rosemary, parsley, chicory, sage, cilantro, beets, lettuce, and edible geraniums. It comprises 72 square feet on an east facing wall near the restaurant entrance.
Mumford has been growing green walls as part of his living laboratory at GreenScaped Buildings, trying out various methods and products that contribute to low impact development, sustainability and restorative buildings. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of his green roof and walls, they produce increases in biodiversity, cooling buildings and reducing of the urban heat island effect, carbon sequestration, cleaning the air of particulates and adding oxygen.
“I’m now applying my experience with green roofs to the next natural step, green and edible walls,” said Mumford. “Green roofs are wonderful but not practical for everyone. Green walls can be built for a fraction of the cost in many more places. We’re even doing rain water harvesting too!
“The victory garden is making a comeback. People keep asking me about growing vegetables on the roof, which is problematic from a labor perspective - you can’t easily allow folks on a roof to tend a vegetable garden.”
The idea of vertical farming and “victory farms” are not new, but with more densely-built urban areas and an eye on lessening environmental impacts, advocates of urban farming have embraced edible walls as a way to lower food costs, increase nutritional quality and cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by using fewer delivery trucks. While not all vegetables can be grown on a wall (corn being a good example), with practice and technological advancements the possibilities are endless.
“We can bring an entire farm to found space in the middle of an urban environment,” said Mumford. “I’m excited to have people with the kind of influence Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton enjoy leading the way and generating awareness of sustainability issues with this project at their wonderful restaurant. And I hope it makes their fantastic pizzas even more delicious! ”
For additional information, visit www.greenscapedbuildings.com and www.mariobatali.com
About GreenScaped Buildings
After more than 30 years of providing award-winning plantscaping service and design to the region as the owner of Good Earth Plant Company, Jim Mumford and GreenScaped Buildings has expanded the focus to include green roofs, living walls, and rainwater harvesting systems. Mumford’s passion for low impact development, sustainability and restorative buildings will cultivate a legacy through GreenScaped Buildings for which future generations can be proud.