An old warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will become the new home of the world’s largest rooftop garden.
A Manhattan-based company, BrightFarms, is in charge of planting the garden, which will grow in a 100,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, and hopefully produce 1 million pounds of local produce per year. When it’s finished, it’ll be one of six commercial greenhouses in the city that provide produce to local grocery stores and restaurants.
According to The Brooklyn Ink, Brooklyn is leading the way in community gardens in the city: It has 224, compared with 150 in Manhattan, 118 in the Bronx, and 35 in Queens. There is another hydroponic rooftop garden in Greenpoint run by Gotham Greens. The large, wide rooftops in the borough make for good planting areas, and developing them is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to spruce up Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront.
This new hydroponic garden will definitely feed a lot of people, but will its city produce grown without soil taste good? Last August, the Times talked to chefs and produce buyers for restaurants who were wary about the hydroponic produce from Gotham Greens. John O’Neil, a produce buyer for the Patina Restaurant Group, told the Times that he rejects hydroponic vegetables “because they look pretty but they are lacking in flavor,” adding, “I go for Mother Earth every time.”