Saturday, June 20, 2009


    What was more surreal than a farm on top of an industrial warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with panoramic views of the New York City, was climbing stairs in the warehouse that lead up to the roof top farm.
    Sue and I went up two flights too many and ended up on another roof top overlooking the farm, where I was able to get some interesting shots. We clearly looked lost over there and were instructed to go two flights back down, then through a room filled with junk, then out a hole in the wall onto a courtyard and then up some other steps. Quite an adventure already. 
     Finally we arrived. The rooftop farm is really something you have to see to believe. The contrast between the rural rows of growing plants against towering metal buildings is remarkable. And while you are utterly surrounded by the urban landscape, the skyline, other rooftops, a crane yard, you somehow feel removed from it all. The farm has a vibe all its own that somehow detaches you from all the energy of the city even though the city is staring you in the face. 
      Annie, (above) one of the farmers, graciously greeted us with a warm smile and encouraged us to look around. Walking down the verdant rows of soon to be vegetables delivered a calming sense of order and an exciting feeling of anticipation of what's to come. 
     From the amount of eager volunteer farm hands, its easy to see that a lot of people are happy that this rooftop farm landed in Greenpoint. 
     Ben, (above) Annie's farming business partner, while focusing intently on his task of planting the tiniest basil sprouts, explained that the soil imported from Philadephia, was lifted by crane and poured onto the warehouse rooftop. 
     Greenpoint, a center of industry and home to an ever growing population of immigrants and young professionals alike needs this sort of thing, because we all know that Greenpoint is far from green and this is certainly a step in the right direction. 
     We bought a bunch of tiny sprouts, some swiss chard, kale, a few tomatoes and a watermelon, a good deal at $1 a piece, and "Annie" said good bye to her "little ophans" as we carried them off to their new homes on our own mini urban farms.  
     I will definitely visit the farm again to watch its progress, lend a hand, and maybe get a taste of truly local produce, grown only a borough away. 
     I found out about the rooftop farm in a really informative and well-written article titled A Rooftop Farm for the Future at a great blog called Not Eating Out in New York.

1 comment:

Rocco Galatioto said...

It better be a rooftop farm as I would not want to eat anything grown on ground level in good old Greenpoint. Very engaging article and nice photos as usual..But then, I was your teacher.