This Farm Grows 50,000 lbs Of Fruit And Vegetables On Top Of A Building - Off-Grid

This Farm Grows 50,000 lbs Of Fruit And Vegetables On Top Of A Building

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During the last 50 years there has been a great rise in interest in farming and gardening practices that focus on on self-sufficiency and survival. One of the leading trends in farming is the organic movement which pushes for purity of food and unpolluted growing conditions.

Another emerging trend is rooftop farming which was born out of the green-roof movement. This trend promotes the use of plants and flowers to provide insulation, allows the creation of habitat for local wildlife, and offers a verdant break from urban drabness. Rooftop farming promotes self-sufficiency and boosts the local economy, using space-saving techniques and small-cropping to produce the highest possible quality food.

Now, visiting a working farm does not require a journey into the countryside. Many cities around the world including Singapore, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Montreal and urban centers in the U.S. are constructing farms atop multistory buildings. In New York, a rooftop farm, Brooklyn Grange, produces more than 50,000 pounds of organically cultivated vegetables and fruits annually. This produce goes directly to local restaurants, markets, the grange’s farm stand, and community-supported agriculture. The grange also has chicken coops and beehives, which round out the urban farming experience.

The Brooklyn Grange was started in 2009 by Ben Flanner, Anastasia Plakias, and Gwen Schantz. Funding for the project came from loans, the founders’ money, and community investors. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program also infused “seed money”. The Grange does not only grow and distribute local vegetables and herbs but also provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installations services to clients worldwide. Its partnerships with non-profit organizations throughout the city promote healthy and strong local communities.

The rooftop farm’s organic produce includes varietals of tomatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, salad greens, kale, peppers, Swiss chard, beans of several types and herbs such as fennel. These greens and root crops are grown in 7.5″ deep beds, using “Rooflite” soil which contains organic matter compost and small porous stones, probably perlite judging by the ‘rooflite’ name. The organic materials break down to add trace minerals that are needed by the vegetables and herbs to grow and the porous stones retain moisture. The grange now operates year-round, producing cover-crops including buckwheat, rye and vetch.

Brooklyn Grange’s unique and scenic urban rooftop venues are also available as a film location and private event venue for weddings and private dinners. They operate an apiary that manages honey bee hives naturally. These hives are installed on various rooftops throughout New York City.

The Brooklyn Grange also has an amazing community outreach program that introduces budding farmers, foodies, and children to rooftop farming. They also offer workshops on beekeeping, cheese making, and fermenting. Off-site workshops on farm planning, finances, and crop planning are also on their calendar.

Rooftop farming produces food that is consumed in its locality, thus reducing “food miles” – lowering fossil fuel use and distribution costs. The vegetables, herbs, and root crops from rooftop farms could also act as a survival supply if transportation and distribution channels break down. Food grown using rooftop farming may thus have the potential to cost less than regular supermarket produce that has possibly travelled thousands of miles.

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This Farm Grows 50000 lbs Of Fruits And Vegetables On Top Of A Building
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