Two years ago Marco Castro Cosío’s Bus Roots green-roofed bus hit the streets of St. Louis, and now the model is ready to make its way to businesses across the country. The first stop is St. Louis’ Lulu’s Local Eatery, a mobile locavore restaurant specializing in fresh vegetarian fare. With Cosío’s help, Lulu’s now drives around with their own herb and veggie garden right on the roof!
Lulu’s is known for natural, organic foods made from local ingredients and packed in biodegradable packaging. Adding a green roof to their repertoire only seemed natural! Using a lightweight aluminum structure, Cosío installed a flat system of planters on Lulu’s roof. The shallow bins are small and weigh little when wet, and they’re held in places by high-strength Tyvek, keeping the roof garden in check with automotive regulations.
The rows of planters on Lulu’s roof garden grow strawberries, rosemary, lavender, mint, mustard greens and other herbs that are used in each of the restaurant’s signature dishes. The custom-made garden is cared for with hydroponics and sub-irrigated planters. Lulu’s employees can climb aboard at the start of the day to tend to the gardens, or to harvest the edible goodies for the menu.
Food trucks have become a common lunch option in cities around the country, and they’ve evolved from traditional street food to include gourmet treats, with many serving up vegetarian and health food. A roof garden not only makes the food on Lulu’s menu fresher, but it also serves as green inspiration to St. Louis residents as it cruises around the city streets.