For Up Top Acres farm manager Nick Berini, the Capitol Riverfront is work and home. Nick lives in the neighborhood, but also takes care of the crops of rooftop farms at 55 M, 1015 Half, and others across the DC metro area.
How would you describe the Capitol Riverfront to friends and visitors?
The Capitol Riverfront is a fantastic place to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It is a really friendly residential neighborhood with access to parks and beautiful river views and so many good things to eat!
Tell us a little bit about what Up Top is doing and growing in the neighborhood.
Up Top Acres is growing food and flowers on rooftops as a way to not only provide high quality hyper-local produce to the neighborhood, but also to bring agriculture into city life and connect people with food, health, and culture. We believe it is an integral component of a truly dynamic and diverse urban neighborhood and the support from the community couldn't be better.
What's your favorite place in the neighborhood?
The Farm at 55M Street is at the top of my list because I can see and hear into Nats Park while picking kale and radishes for the Sunday FRESHFARM Farmers Market. I also love the parks! My dog Mars and I frequent the dog park and the Anacostia River Walk. The Bardo beer garden is a great spot for the 21+ crowd, and Bonchon is my go-to when I'm too tired to cook.
What qualifies a building for a green roof / rooftop farm?
Mostly the roof has to be able to support the load of a farm. If the building has adequate structural capacity and the desire for a beautiful and productive farm, that's pretty much all we need.
What is your favorite fruit or veggie to grow?
I love all my plant children equally, but carrots, cherry tomatoes, and shishito peppers the most equal.
What are ways neighborhood residents can live sustainably?
Support your local farm! Our produce is grown and transported using about as little fossil fuels as possible. We don't use any gas powered tools and you can see me pushing a cart down M Street on Sunday morning to the farmers market. In addition, I try to cook, walk, and bike as much as possible for personal and environmental sustainability.
How can the neighborhood partake in Up Top Acres?
The best way is to become a Farm Member - our Farm Members get a box of fresh produce every week making it really easy to eat healthy, locally, and seasonally. You can also find us at FRESHFARM Capitol Riverfront farmers market on Sundays, or check out our events and supporting restaurants at uptopacres.com.
Use one word to describe the capital riverfront neighborhood.