Eating local in New York City used to mean buying Hudson Valley produce shopped from the Union Square Greenmarket.
Now, it’s not that surprising that the salad you just ordered for lunch may have come directly from a neighborhood roof garden. Rooftop farms are sprouting up all over the city so look out below — the Big Apple has a full basket of home grown offerings, coming directly from above.
One of the first, Brooklyn Grange Farm, produces 50,000 pounds of organically cultivated produce per year from two rooftop farms – one in Queens and the other in Brooklyn. They sell wholesale to restaurants and they have a retail market set up for the average neighborhood consumer. They also offer consultations to other aspiring “roofie’”.
Three stories up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with sweeping views of the city skyline, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm cultivates a 6,000 square foot organic vegetable garden on top of a warehouse owned by Broadway Stages.
In the Manhattan Theater District, the Hells’ Kitchen Farm Project operates on top of a church on 9th Avenue across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and is weeks away from their spring 2017 kick-off day on April 22nd. Sixty volunteers manage micro-gardens in the basin of kiddie pools, a perfect growing solution when the land is actually concrete and crop predators include pigeons.
Over on the east side on Manhattan overlooking the river at the new Alexandria Center for Life Sciences, Chef Tom Colicchio oversees Riverpark Urban Farm, which supplies the upscale Riverpark Restaurant with a true urban farm to table experience.
And urban agribusiness is branching out. Brooklyn Grange now operates apiaries, keeping bees on several city rooftops and selling the New York City honey. And don’t miss evening yoga at the rooftop garden or educational classes on growing dinner in your own urban window box.
Prepare to get your hands dirty!