Monday, November 17, 2014

Norway's Living Roofs: grass roofs, turf roofs, and immigrant technology

Scandinavians landed at the Faroe Islands in about 400 AD, and brought with them the technology for green roofs, here one in Norway. 

Immigrants bring varieties of knowledge, ways of solving problems, when they move to new lands.  Alpine, mountainous, cold-weather people often turn to nature for insulation: The Faroe Islands boast many such solutions -- Norwegians, Austrians, for eloquence in the heritage, turn to The Financial Times,  or at Gardener on the Roof, 1-2 November 2014, House-Home Section, article Matthew Wilson

Mr. Wilson quotes one Friedensreich Hundertwasser -- constructing a roof of soil and trees above you is a reconciliation with nature.  Find an example of his work at  New York City gives financial incentives and instructions in creating green roofs, at

Faroe Islands 400 AD.  Viking Scandinavians there that early?  So a rune stone and other sources say, see  The primary Viking age began in about 793, after Charlemagne's slaughter of Saxons at Sachsenhain in 782.  Why is this settlement area used to support Vikings and not Columbus etc. as discovering the "new world."  The BBC claims Irish monks here first, then in 800 came Norwegian farmers, and apparently their settlement stayed. See

  • The round church shown at the BBC site (not a turf roof)  is like many we saw in Norway. The Faroes became part of Norway in 1035, then became part of Denmark, see site, later as an autonomous, self-governing territory, but with annual subsidies, and political-trade complications.
Do read the Financial Times article for a fine history of turf roofs, going back to whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon included some such.  Even bees can be hived on the roofs. Mr. Wilson  "is managing director of Clifton Nurseries in London." See FT.

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