BECKLEY, W.Va. — When Jeff Whittaker decided to put a roof over the back porch of his Beckley home, his motives were simple — he wanted a covered outdoor living space.
A contractor by trade, Whittaker turned the porch of his newly purchased home into a page plucked out of a design magazine, complete with art, comfortable chairs, loveseat, swinging couch, fireplace, flat screen TV and, of course, a Jacuzzi.
“I was mowing one day and I decided I wanted to put a garden up there so deer couldn’t mess with it,” Whittaker said, walking toward a ladder leading up to the roof.
“Up here, I don’t have to worry about anything getting them.”
The rooftop garden — his first go at growing vegetables — has been a success as he says he has grown five different varieties of peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, strawberries and more varieties of tomatoes than he can name offhand.
Whittaker developed the garden himself, building boxes in which to plant them, carrying dirt (before he built the steps) up a ladder, and hanging baskets from the side railings, which he also constructed…