The longer I live in New York the less surprised I am by the ingenuity of New Yorkers. Millions of people manage to go about life side by side with millions of other people in small spaces, the majority without cars, and it all seems to work somehow – miraculous and mundane.
That’s pretty much how I felt when I learned about Brooklyn Grange Farm – yes that’s right the words “Brooklyn” and “Farm” are both in the name. Farming, something humans have been doing for thousands of years but in an urban setting on a large scale. As I snooped through their website it began to make perfect sense and then I had to see it for myself.
The idea in a nutshell is to repurpose otherwise un- or under-utilized commercial rooftops – old-school concrete warehouses for example – and turn them into growing space for crops like kale, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, etc, etc... The farms also offers a home for honeybee hives, chicken coops, helps recycle and manage rainwater, and processes compost from household food scraps to fertilize the beds.
The produce is sold at local farmers markets, to restaurants, and to CSA members in the New York area. I thought I had a pretty solid idea of what it would be like, but I was still amazing by the scope of the project and frankly by the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline from the top of Farm #2 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
If you’re even remotely interested in gardening or local produce I highly recommend taking one of their tours, and I already have my sights set on the some of the events the Brooklyn Grange Farm hosts. The Brown Paper Dinner in early October for a certain husband’s birthday, for example…