Urban Gardens highlights the awesome new rooftop farm at P.S. 333 in Manhattan. The farm, which serves as a laboratory and classroom, is a product of The Greenhouse Project, a partnership between a small group of parents and educators and New York Sun Works. New York Sun Works intends to build seven more greenhouses in New York public schools by the year 2014!
When our friends at sweetgreen called us up about curating picnic baskets for a rooftop dinner party at Brooklyn Grange, of course we said yes! The baskets were spread out across the long farm table, so folks invited could break bread together (literally!) with cheese, salami, radishes, and gooseberries from Good Eggs. It was an absolutely beautiful night with an inspirational group of people - and how about that view?!
How Urban Agriculture Can Grow Grocers’ Revenue: Infographic
Commercial-scale urban agriculture presents opportunities for grocers to benefit from multiple revenue streams, while hedging against uncertain climate futures and meeting consumer demand for locally grown, organic food.
With changing global climates, securing a stable supply chain of fresh produce has become more costly: Unpredictable seasonal rains pose threats to regular crop yields; and rising fossil fuel costs threaten to increase already large transportation costs. Because of consistent demand, transportation costs to fly or truck food in from warmer climates to cooler ones can add up to 40% of total costs, as an Oliver Wyman analysis shows.
At the same time, consumers across the globe are changing buying habits. They are showing an increased awareness of the quality and healthiness of the food they consume, and they are conscious of the environmental impact, especially of the food miles their dish travels before reaching their tables.
Rooftop Farms Bring Farming Closer to the City
Rooftops provide an excellent opportunity to bring farming closer back to the city and to further develop urban agriculture around, and occasionally in, densely populated cities. Rooftops present prime real estate for building integrated agriculture solutions, specifically rooftop greenhouses, where farmland may be expensive, or even non-existent.
Rooftop greenhouses typically run on a hydroponic system (aeroponic and aquaponic systems have also been effective). A hydroponic agriculture system requires little to no soil – making rooftops a feasible location for commercial-scale farming. Nutrient-rich solutions are delivered to the plants, which sit in beds of inert materials.
“Hydroponic agriculture is extremely resource-efficient,” explains Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms in New York. “Farms are designed to conserve land, water, and eliminate agricultural runoff. As urban greenhouses benefit from year-round growing, they provide more cumulative yields per acre than conventional agriculture. For example, a one acre farm can put out as much as 500,000 pounds of fresh produce per year and feed more than 2,500 people.”
Grocers who integrate and grow their own produce on rooftop farms and at local distribution centres can benefit from multiple revenue streams, reducing costs by at least 37%, according to an Oliver Wyman analysis.
Project of the Day — Farm-in-the-Sky, a 10,000 square foot rooftop farm in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The farm essentially doubles the workspace of the already existing organization behind it (Ecostation:NY); in addition to being a working farm, it will also offer youth programming. Sounds like a project we can get behind.
Fed by the interest in locally grown produce, the new farm operations in New York are selling greens and other vegetables by the boxful to organically inclined residents, and by the bushel to supermarket chains like Whole Foods. The main difference between this century and previous ones is location: whether soil-based or hydroponic, in which vegetables are grown in water rather than soil, the new farms are spreading on rooftops, perhaps the last slice of untapped real estate in the city.
our carrots not only survived the extremely mild winter, they used the months to get bigger! the trays are 8 inches deep and the carrots took advantage of the entire depth…when we attempted to harvest in the fall, we just got tiny, useless slivers. now, the pics you see are the beginning of a harvest of over 3lbs of mature carrots… and they are sweet!
Our farmers and foodmakers are the heart and soul of Good Eggs, so how do we show our appreciation for them? By throwing a rooftop party with sweeping views of Brooklyn and Manhattan and tons of seasonal and locally-sourced snacks, beer and cocktails, of course! We loved hanging out with the hardworking, creative and passionate people who make Good Eggs possible. Oh yeah, and we loved eating with them too!
Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm in the Navy Yard provided the gorgeous, verdant backdrop, and so many of our farmers and foodmakers generously provided the delicious treats. Just to name a few…
Viraj Puri, 31, is co-founder and chief executive officer of Gotham Greens, an urban farm on a warehouse rooftop in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. The farm is part of a growing movement. As world populations swell, particularly in major cities, scientists and public officials believe urban farms will play an important role supplementing our food supply.