We Can Grow All Our Own Food in the City (3 videos)

Without deliveries, New York City would run out of produce in two days. But there is enough rooftop space to supply the entire city with all the fresh produce it can eat. And there are also windows.

These 3 videos demonstrate what’s possible and how it works. Video 1, The Science Barge, tells you all about hydroponics. The video on page 2 focuses on window gardens, and the one on page 3 is on rooftop gardens.

The Amazing Science Barge

This first video takes us to the Science Barge, anchored in the Hudson River. The Barge is a demonstration station which shows school children and city dwellers how to grow vegetables easily and cheaply using any available space.

The Barge is a small scale farm which uses a variety of hydroponic systems and only alternative energy. Its goal is to teach city dwellers about sustainability of food, water, energy, and waste.

Youíll be amazed to see how everything gets recycled on the barge.

On page 2 you’ll see a very personal solution, which the creator calls ‘Windowfarms’.

Urban Farming: Hydroponics in the City from Dawn Productions on Vimeo.

Photo credit: Ryan Somma

Grow it in the Window

A pair of Brooklyn artists attended an artists residency where their project was to develop an inexpensive and environmentally sound way of growing vegetables in an inner city apartment. Their solution uses recycled plastic bottles along with a few items they bought which hang in front of a window. They call it Windowfarms.

Their idea has caught on and people around the world are building their own window gardens, often with their own unique ideas. Itís called R&D-I-Y: research and develop it yourself.

The video shows several examples of these window gardens, and how people are helping each other.

The video on page three takes this one step further, and shows how you can turn a roof into a farm growing delicious vegetables.

Photo credit: ivaneska

Grow it on the Roof

Nowadays rooftop gardens are sprouting up all over New York City, and rooftop beekeeping is too. Perhaps the most exciting example is Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, started in the spring of 2009 on a 6,000 square foot roof.

This video, taken later that year, shows a wide variety of delicious vegetables growing, about half of which were sold to local restaurants and the rest to the public.

Those folk are real locavores. Watch it; youíll be inspired. Now arenít you sorry you donít have a flat roof?

Photo credit: Yomi 955


KS Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mervi R.
Mervi R7 years ago

Great post, thanks!

Terrence B.
Terrence B7 years ago

Now if I can keep the pests out of my roof from creeping down into my home.

Lets see do I grow enough for myself or do I want to keep and expand to all the roof tops and grow for the whole community?

oh that is about right - if your township even allows this.

Lets just convert all the empty lots in all the cities into gardens

lets leave the rooftops for the rain collection.

The lots are just growing weeds anyway . lets get them more productive.

Jewels S.
Jewels S7 years ago

It is so great to hear these concepts becoming more known. The roof garden has long been my quest. If I were mayor, gov or making laws, I would require all new buildings to include a roof garden. The grain and meat can be stored so you would just have to plan to have a bit more on hand for emergency. No need to throw the idea out because one aspect is not addressed with this solution.

Past Member 7 years ago


karin m.
Karin M7 years ago

fish swimming in a blue plastic box . is it larger than it looks in the video and how many fish were there.

Jason H.
Jason H.7 years ago

Produce is all well and good, but how are we going to grow enough grain on rooftops? Rooftop rice paddies? Rooftop cornfields? Rooftop wheat fields? Considering the grains are the largest food group on any version of the food pyramid, they are crucial.

johan l.
paul l7 years ago

Perfect answer for those who are committed vegans.
I personally would have problems as I cannot possibly have a cow on my roof!
Interesting article though, and food for thought!

Amish Mistry
Amish Mistry7 years ago

This is such an inspiring concept....it has the potential of converting an entire metropolis like Bombay into a huge Food farm. Providing Food for the populace of India is a huge poser for the government as more parts of the country are getting urbanized resulting in reduced farmlands.

This method can help offset this situation & whats more, there is very little carbon emission involved as the food is grown locally (right above ur dining table) instead of places miles away. This will also help reduce the prices of groceries making it more affordable for the common man.

This is one intelligent discovery.

Tanya G.
Tanya G7 years ago

Now this is WOW alright!