To see what’s growing in Brooklyn and Queens, look up—way up. Brooklyn Grange is an urban farm operation that grows more than 50,000 pounds of organically cultivated produce on the rooftops of New York. The two buildings used for vegetable farming (one in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and one in Long Island City, Queens) comprise more than two acres of “green roof” (specially designed systems of soil, drainage plates, and root barriers). There are also egg-laying hens, and 30 hives for honeybees at Brooklyn Grange Bees, a commercial apiary where future beekeepers are trained and honey is harvested.
Produce is sold wholesale to restaurants like the renowned pizza place Paulie Gee and to retailers like Marlow & Daughters, as well as to individuals through subscription in its community-supported agriculture program or at farmers’ markets in Long Island City, and in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Launched in 2010 by a group with a lot of farm know-how and engineering skills, and a goal of sustainable urban farming in mind, Brooklyn Grange has united the urban and rural through its rooftop-grown tomatoes, salad greens, peppers, kale, chard, bok choy, herbs, carrots, radishes, beans, and more. And it now shares its knowledge with others through its green-roof design and installation team.