the hottest of hotspots

If the U.S. were a cupcake, and the rooftop farms and gardens dotted around the country were the sprinkles, then Brooklyn would be the cherry on top.  Thank you for bearing with me on that analogy.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn || Image by Google Earth

It’s true, though.  Brooklyn currently houses several of the country’s most innovative and inspiring rooftop farmsGotham Greens, a 15,000 square foot (0.3 acre) commercial greenhouse operation in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, leads New York City in rooftop yields.  With high-end distribution channels and a solid business model, the success of this rooftop pioneer may be inspiring other entrepreneurs to follow suit.  Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is another critical piece of the cherry.  As the country’s first rooftop row farm, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm plays an important role in building community and demonstrating farming techniques.  With a picturesque backdrop, this farm is arguably Brooklyn’s “greenest” icon.  Brooklyn Grange, while not actually located in Brooklyn, contributes to the local skyline network as well.  Ben Flanner, founder of Brooklyn Grange, co-founded Eagle Street and then spread his seeds of knowledge to the Grange’s rooftop in Queens.

It is with this proliferation and contagious behavior that Brooklyn is booming – I mean, blooming!  The New York Times reports that Gotham Greens is scheduled to open three new rooftop greenhouse operations in 2013, totalling 180,000 square feet (4.1 acres).  Brooklyn Grange is also expanding, and construction of the farm’s new 45,000 square foot (1 acre) location could begin as early as spring of 2012.

Then there’s the Sunset Park Greenhouse.  Brooklyn residents should expect to see this 100,000 square foot (2.3 acre) hydroponic operation atop a former Naval warehouse in the not-too-distant future.  According to the New York Times, the project’s greenhouse development company, BrightFarms, anticipates that the farm will produce 1 million pounds of food per year.

With agro-icons and big projects in the pipeline, Brooklyn is hot hot hot.

2 Comments on “the hottest of hotspots

  1. Hi, Lauren, Congratulation for your amazing blog! If you never heard about this, I would like to introduce you to Lufa Farms, a 31 000 square foot greenhouse in Montreal. It’s in full production since February 2011 and it now feeds 2000 people everyweek! ; Yourianne

    • Thanks for checking out the Eat Up blog, Yourianne! Lufa Farms looks amazing. I’m planning on writing about Canadian rooftop farms some time soon, and would love to include some coverage of Lufa. Keep up the amazing work!

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