Throughout the five boroughs, the phenomenon of urban agriculture has greatly developed and spread on the city’s roofs. Rooftop gardening and farming benefits the city not only aesthetically, but environmentally and socially as well. Rooftop gardening provides food, temperature control, recreation, habitats for wildlife, educational opportunities, and hydrological benefits. In New York City the rooftop garden takes on many different shapes. From the private garden, to the 40,000 square foot commercial rooftop farm, New York City has a delightfully diverse variety of rooftop greenery. Six unique roofs show off the range of diversity in terms of size, location, and type of garden that can be found in New York City!
1. Eagle Street Roof Top Farm: Located in Greenpoint, this 6,000 square foot farm serves as a model for urban agriculture. The farm grows a wide variety of crops ranging from tomatoes and cucumbers to hot peppers and herbs. The farm is also commercial, selling its harvest on site, every Sunday. For more information check out: http://rooftopfarms.org/
2. The blogging gardener: Laura Yip is a rooftop gardener who experiments with crops on her rooftop in the East Village. In addition she carefully documents her progress and provides advice for other city-dwelling farmers on her blog (http://nycroofgardenproject.blogspot.com/).
3. Brooklyn Grange: The Brooklyn Grange, which resides on a 40,000 square foot roof in Queens is a working organic commercial farm. They aim to provide New Yorkers with access to high quality, local produce, and, although they are a commercial farm, they are committed to the community and are open to the public. For more information, check out (http://www.brooklyngrangefarm.com/)
4. Roberta’s Pizza: Located right off of the Morgan stop on the L train, Roberta’s Pizza has a wonderful garden area that produces a number of fruits and vegetables that go straight from the garden to the kitchen. A dedicated team of interns and volunteers harvest every day to create and ideal sustainable dining situation. Check out Roberta’s at ( http://www.robertaspizza.com/)
5. The School: New York Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project is an inspirational program that aims to bring sustainability literally into the classroom via rooftop gardens. The pilot site for the project, located atop Manhattan School for Children (PS 333) opened in the fall of 2010, and functions as a hands-on classroom for students. For more info check out (http://nysunworks.org/)
6. Gotham Greens: Gotham Greens is a Greenpoint-based commercial hydroponic farm that places a strong emphasis on pesticide-free sustainable agriculture. The farm produces a variety of leafy vegetables, including Basil, Tropicana Green Leaf Lettuce, Red Sails Red Leaf, and more. In addition, Gotham greens uses solar panels to reduce its non-renewable energy needs.