Few people think of farming when they think of the Big Apple, but Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farming and green roofing business, is trying to change that. Started in 2010, it now produces upwards of 80,000 pounds (36,300 kilograms) of organic produce yearly—grown in sustainable rooftop gardens atop three NYC buildings.
There are a number of ways to visit Brooklyn Grange sites. Weekend open days offer visitors the chance to explore the farm, meet the chickens, see the bee hives, and purchase homegrown farm produce. Farm tours led by volunteers offer a behind-the-scenes look at the farms and insight into the unique urban farming practices. Or, get hands-on in the gardens at a series of workshops with subjects on beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, and urban agriculture.
Things to Know Before You Go
The only way to visit is on an open day or by reserving in advance.
Farm tours typically last 45 minutes and take place in groups of up to four people.
The Grange hosts special events, such as yoga evenings, farm dinners, and farming workshops.
The Long Island City site is wheelchair accessible; wheelchair users can be accommodated at other sites by prior reservation.
How to Get There
There are three Brooklyn Grange sites. To reach the Long Island City branch by subway, take the M, R to 36th Street. To reach the Sunset Park site in Brooklyn, take the D, R, N, W to 25th Street. Multiple bus lines stop near the Brooklyn Navy Yard site, or take the G to Clinton-Washington and walk for about one miles (20 minutes).
When to Get There
The farms are typically open to the public from May to October, but opening times vary, so it's best to schedule in advance. Typically, Sunset Park in Brooklyn is open to visitors on Sunday, while the Long Island City Farm is open on Saturday. Outside of these hours, or to visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard, you need to book a tour or sign up for a regular event.
Sustainable Farming at Brooklyn Grange
Brooklyn Grange farms grow a range of seasonal vegetables and herbs and operate 40 bee hives around NYC, which produce their own organic honey. The Grange also has its own line of hot sauces. The focus is on using organic, sustainable farming practices and innovative green roof technology and on not using synthetic or chemical fertilizers. Produce is sold on-site and at farmer’s markets and includes tomatoes, peppers, greens, ground cherries, pac choi, and beans.
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