Green roofs continue to grow as various companies are taking off to expand roof top farming to all boroughs of New York City. Last week we touched base on a company known as New York Green Roofs which installed green roofs all over New York City. In addition, companies such as the Brooklyn Grange and Five Borough farm are also promoting city wide roof top farming.
The Brooklyn Grange is a major business which not only incorporates green life into an urban environment, but also operates as a working rooftop farm. Like New York Green Roofs, The Brooklyn Grange also installs roof top farms, in addition to keeping them maintained. The Brooklyn Grange sells its produce at local farmers markets and restaurants, and has two farms located in New York City, one at Northern Blvd. and another at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. They also have a third location which is the city’s largest bee farm, known as Brooklyn Grange Bees or “BGBee’s.” All produce grown by The Brooklyn Grange farms are protected from contaminants and pollutants because they are grown high above roadways and thankfully they even help clean the surrounding air. However, the Brooklyn Grange takes urban farming a step further and attempts to educate the surrounding community on sustainability and eco-friendly practices that one can incorporate into their daily life. They provide training programs at small household urban farms, as well as larger scale urban farms, and they even offer internship opportunities . The Brooklyn Grange’s mission is to “create a fiscally sustainable model for urban agriculture and to produce healthy delicious produce for our local community”. Started by Ben Flanner, Anastasia Cole Plakias, and Gwen Schantz, the Brooklyn Grange has expanded their urban farm and practices, and are now the world’s largest rooftop soil farm that grows more than 40,000 pounds of produce a year. This produce includes: lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, kale, herbs,and much more. In addition, they also sell various jarred goods including: hot sauce, jam, honey, jelly, and seeds. The Brooklyn Grange is a perfect oasis for anyone who’s interested in urban sustainability.
Five Borough Farm is another NYC based urban sustainability project which has also taken off in the past few years. The Five Borough Farm’s project is designed in phases to document how many farms currently exist, improve existing farms, and turn unused industrial areas into usable safe farms. According to research done for Five Borough Farm, there are over 700 farms citywide. Partnering with NYC Departments of Parks & Recreation, the Five Borough Farm project plans to expand urban farming even further. They plan to formalize government support for urban agriculture, integrate urban agriculture into city policies and plans, and identify innovative opportunities to build agriculture into the cityscape.
Ultimately, it is companies such as The Brooklyn Grange and Five Borough Farm which are calling on New York City residents to help participate in expanding urban farming.