With notoriously tight living spaces tucked into buildings all around the city, it’s no wonder that New Yorkers have mastered the art of manipulating their tiny environments in order to maximize the amount of usable space. Closet-sized apartments that often don’t even have any closets are a norm for city-dwellers, but those whose dreams cannot be contained within the four walls of a teeny apartment or rented loft space, are looking up – to the roof.
Enter Gotham Greens, a small collective who recognized that the combination of urban farming, and the use of NYC’s greatly under-utilized rooftop space could result in something fantastic. Since 2008, this company has been dedicated to growing the highest quality vegetables and herbs for local restaurants and retailers, offering the people of New York City access to pesticide-free, locally sourced, sustainable produce, grown practically in their backyard. Gotham Greens is proud to be unconventional, because it allows them to foster a philosophy championing fair treatment of workers, biodiversity and reduced chemical use in food production, and above all, a method of farming that challenges industry standards.
Gotham Greens’ first urban farm is an enormous rooftop greenhouse located in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn neighborhood. Here they utilize solar power, innovative “hydroponics” methods of growing vegetables and herbs, as well as a computer-controlled system that manages heating, cooling, irrigation, and plant nutrition, allowing them to farm 365 days a year.
The company, which currently has only 20 employees, can expect to grow, and soon, with big names like Whole Foods Market taking notice of their innovative and passionate approach to urban farming. In an April press release, Whole Foods, a popular grocery chain that offers many organic options, announced that it would be partnering with Gotham Greens to create the first-ever commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse. According to the statement, the greenhouse is going to take up an astounding 20,000 square feet atop a forthcoming Whole Foods Market in Gowanus, Brooklyn, redefining the possibilities of farming in an urban setting.
Soon it will be easier than ever for New Yorkers to enjoy the best produce available, looking no further than one very large rooftop in Brooklyn. Expect a grand opening of Gotham Greens’ newest urban farm this fall.