Voltaire’s “Candide” inspired FSU junior English major Brad Riffee to cultivate his garden, in a literal and a figurative sense. The hero in the great comic novel establishes a farm upon which he and his friends will foster productivity. Riffee has embraced that philosophy. “We have to tend to our own lives. Nobody else does. We do this through fellowship by uniting and working with others. We have the ability to grow and create anything,” he says.
Through a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, the Woodhaven, Michigan, native explored the feasibility of creating the first potential hydroponic rooftop greenhouses on campus. He spent the summer growing vegetables and herbs without using a traditional soil-based system. Riffee hopes that rooftop gardens on campus could involve students from multiple disciplines and provide fresh produce for campus dining services.