New York City is not a complete concrete jungle. In fact, the five boroughs are home to numerous green gardens that are revolutionizing the way we think about urban farming and sustainability. These places really care about the community and invite visitors to onsite restaurants, markets, and cool events, and to get in on the action by volunteering. The next time you find yourself in need of some environmental stimulation, head to any of these urban farms in NYC.
Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 3 & 37-18 Northern Blvd
Did you know that NYC is home to the world’s largest rooftop soil farms? On the top of two buildings with locations at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Long Island City, Brooklyn Grange produces over 50,000 pounds of organically-cultivated produce per year! There’s also an operating apiary. Expand your green knowledge through open houses, tours, events, and workshops such as Honey Bee Basics, yoga, Butcher Paper Dinners, and Holistic and Homeopathic Herbs.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, 44 Eagle St
Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is a 6,000 square foot organic vegetable farm that sits atop a three-story warehouse. Farm-based education workshops for youth, college students, and adults are offered. There’s a real focus on community here. The farm sells to some of our favorite restaurants including Marlow and Daughters, Rockaway Taco, and Ovenly, and has onsite markets during the growing season. Volunteer opportunities are available for those who want to get their hands dirty.
Gotham Greens at Whole Foods Market, 214 3rd St
Founded in 2009, Gotham Greens now has four rooftop greenhouses in New York City and Chicago. Using state of the art technology and 100% clean energy, the company’s first greenhouse in Greenpoint proved that urban farming could be done year round and on a commercial scale. A second greenhouse was built atop the Whole Foods Market in Gowanus, and now grows over 200,000 pounds of produce each year. Take shopping local to the next level and buy greens and tomatoes that were cultivated right above your head.
Randall’s Island Urban Farm, Wards Meadow Loop
Located at the southern end of Randall’s Island, Urban Farm sets out to educate students about sustainable gardening practices from A to Z. Young minds gain first-hand experience in everything from rainwater capture and crop rotation to pollination and botany. Sustainable farming features include 80 raised beds, two greenhouses, four rice paddies, a garden made out of plastic milk crates, a berry patch, and a chicken pasture. In addition to the Edible Education Program’s for NYC schools, Urban Farm hosts special events and exploration days that are free and open to the public.
The Battery Urban Farm, State St and Battery Place
Established in 2011 by the Battery Conservancy in partnership with the Environmental Club at Millennium High School, the Battery Urban Farm is committed to educating NYC residents, both young and old, about sustainable farming techniques so they become green practitioners. Additionally, students help manage the four oyster restoration stations located off the Battery Promenade. Setting the bar for community engagement, the farm donates produce to school cafeterias participating in the Garden to School Café Program. Just want to visit? The Labyrinth Farm is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more info, visit farming.nyc.