Take a photo tour of the largest rooftop farm in New York City: Brooklyn Grange sits on top of 43,000 square of feet of space on two buildings in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brooklyn Grange has been running a rooftop farm in Long Island City since 2010, but Thursday's was the first look at their Brooklyn location, which has grown to become the largest rooftop farm in the city.
And you may have already eaten produce from the farm without realizing it: The farm sells its vegetables to restaurants throughout the city, and also sells produce to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, as well as to weekly farm stands.
At the moment, the garden is harvesting salad greens, rainbow chard, kale, basil, eggplant, cucumbers and ground cherries.
“It’s no news that a tree grows in Brooklyn, and now we’re ready to harvest cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce and kale,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who toured the grange on Thursday, along with the city's Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland.
Hizzoner bites into a cherry tomato.
The farm uses 12-inch deep growing beds, made up of a special soil medium blended specifically for rooftop use.
So far, the grange has harvested and sold more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce, but it hopes to start producing an annual yield of 20,000 pounds of fresh produce per year. Future crops will include leafy greens, aromatic herbs, heirloom tomatoes and carrots.
The plants and dirt of the Brooklyn Grange.
It's not just veggies
The Brooklyn farm includes two flocks of egg-laying hens and a commercial apiary comprising over thirty hives. The hives are expected to yield approximately 1,500 pounds of honey annually.
The grange has also been designed to absorb more than one million gallons of rainwater per year, which they use to irrigate their crops. That's stormwater that would normally enter the New York City sewer system each year, and contribute to sewer overflows and harbor pollution.
Rows on plants at the Grange.