It’s official. Whole Foods Market and New York-based rooftop farming company Gotham Greens are partnering on a high-tech greenhouse atop the supermarket chain’s forthcoming Gowanus location. The Gothamist Daily reported that on April 1, Whole Foods announced the partnership, which will yield a 20,000 square foot (0.5 acre) hydroponic rooftop greenhouse. The Brooklyn market will represent Whole Foods’ eighth New York City location, and the first to house a commercial rooftop greenhouse.
Gotham Green‘s courtship with Whole Foods began with the company’s 15,000 square foot (0.3 acre) flagship location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which has sourced fresh produce to various Whole Foods locations since 2011. The demand for roof-fresh greens and herbs is clearly through the roof, as the two companies embark on this new chapter in their relationship.
Produce grown in the rooftop greenhouse will be available in the store below (as well as in other Whole Foods New York locations), thereby minimizing transportation costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions. As with Gotham Greens’ flagship location, no pesticides will be used on the crops as they mature in their hydroponic haven. The greenhouse’s year-round production will incorporate sustainable technologies that include solar generated power and a sophisticated irrigation system that uses 20 times less water than conventional ground-level row farming.
But wait, there’s more! The Daily News reports that Gotham Greens is slated to open an even larger commercial rooftop greenhouse in Jamaica, Queens. This 60,000 square foot (1.4 acre) behemoth – one of the largest in the country – will occupy the roof of an industrial building. The hydroponic facility is expected to create 30 jobs and yield approximately 500 tons of produce per year, according to Gotham Greens founder and CEO, Viraj Puri.
What do you think about year-round rooftop production? Would your neighborhood welcome one of these cutting edge farms?