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Meet the World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

Meet the World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

It should come as no surprise to learn that we’re totally into rooftop gardening, because it’s a great use of space and a fantastic way to connect people with the source of their food. And, well, you know how some people say “go big or go home”? It would appear that the Brooklyn Grange has taken that ethos to heart, with its formidable two acres of land spread across two rooftops (one of which is not actually in Brooklyn, sorry), producing food that leads its way into the stomachs of New Yorkers through restaurants, a farmstand, and a CSA.

Founded in May 2010 and recently expanded to a second building, the Brooklyn Grange started with modest aspirations: some tomatoes and chard. Today, in addition to producing a huge range of vegetables, the Grange also hosts chickens, bees, a mushroom farm, and a composting program. Employees work with regional schools and outreach programs to provide educational opportunities for youth, while volunteers can hang out at the Grange during operating hours to do some farmwork and admire the stunning view.

The Brooklyn Grange doesn’t just focus on its own operations. It also offers consulting services to companies and people around the world interested in starting urban rooftop farms. Using a specialized soil called Rooflite specifically designed for rooftop farming and gardening applications, and working with architects and engineers to set up the site, the Grange grows all kinds of delicious food. “Tomatoes are one of our biggest crops: we have 40 varietals planted. We are also growing salad greens, peppers, kale, chard, bac choi, herbs, carrots, radishes, beans, and many other exciting crops!”

This amazing site is a total inspiration for New York remodeling firms interested in promoting green design when working with their clients. The Brooklyn Grange is the next level up of the rooftop garden: it’s not just a nice place to hang out with some plants, it’s a working commercial farm that is currently turning a regular profit, improving the surrounding community, and helping out the environment with some pollution-scrubbing plants that improve air quality.

Thanks to a willingness to share expertise, the Grange model can be picked up anywhere people are willing to put in the work to establish an urban farm on a rooftop. Sure, it’s a bit of a slog to get all that dirt up there at the beginning, but the payoff is well worth it. The Brooklyn Grange is a testimony to the power of community, dedication, and love of farming.

Visitors are welcome at the Grange from May through October. They can tour the Brooklyn Grange, or get their hands dirty with some volunteer work, should they so desire. It sounds like an amazing opportunity: the next time I’m in New York, I’m definitely going to check it out.

Katie Marks writes for Networx.com. This article originally appeared here.

Photo: Kristine Paulus/Flickr

Read more: Crafts & Design, Green, Lawns & Gardens, Materials & Architecture, Nature, Technology, , , ,

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

106 comments

+ add your own
10:55AM PDT on Mar 12, 2014

Neat!

6:49PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Just amazing.

5:22AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

awsome

8:50PM PST on Feb 25, 2014

Marvellous, certainly a wonderful and delightful idea.

10:55AM PST on Feb 24, 2014

Interesting!!

10:19PM PST on Feb 17, 2014

Interesting

8:05AM PST on Feb 13, 2014

A great idea, thank you for posting.

7:51PM PST on Feb 5, 2014

cool

7:23AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

thanks

11:34AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Good for them!. Some kind of green roof should be part of any new city building over a certain size to counteract the footprint- even better if it is used for veggies.

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