Brooklyn Grange Farm

Brooklyn Grange Farm

Brooklyn Grange Farm – Birds-eye view of the West half of the farm. (Photo by Cyrus Dowlatshahi, http://cyrusdowlatshahi.com/)

Brooklyn Grange Farm has turned unused rooftop space in New York into a thriving urban farm. Currently Brooklyn Grange Farm has over two acres of rooftops under cultivation in Brooklyn and Queens, and they have sold over 40,000lbs of vegetables to restaurants, CSA members and directly to the public via weekly farmstands.

Brooklyn Grange Farm has gone beyond selling vegetables. The Farm now has egg laying hens and has launched a commercial apiary cultivating bees for their honey and breeding regional hardiness into their DNA.

The educational non-profit arm, City Growers, hosts thousands of NYC’s youth each season for educational tours and workshops.

Brooklyn Grange Farm is a profitable business. According to the website the company broke even in the first year and showed 40% growth in our second year. They expanded to an additional acre of cultivated rooftop in the third year and there are plans for more.

While the farm is not organic, they grow vegetables according to organic principles, without the use any synthetic or chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides. The produce is not certified organic by the USDA and there are no plans to apply for organic certification.

How about the issue of growing vegetables in a polluted city? According to the website:

Pollution is definitely a concern for city farmers, but luckily, the pollutants of greatest concern are heavy metals, such as lead, and automotive break pad particulates. Both are denser than air, so vegetables grown on a rooftop high above the roadways are protected from these contaminants. The limited lifespan of plants mean they absorb significantly less contamination than our lungs do. Not only are our vegetables fresh, but they help clean NYC air.

Visit Brooklyn Grange Farm.

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