It’s hard to find a peaceful spot in New York City. The crowds, the horns, the sirens, the subways… the commotion can be a bit overwhelming. But in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, in a large yet unassuming building, take the elevator to the top floor, walk up a flight of stairs, and… ahhhhh. Peace. A large rooftop, covered with plants, produce, and sunflowers, looking out over the NYC skyline. I’m talking about Brooklyn Grange, the location for our End of Summer FP Me Party. I think everyone who attended the event had a similar reaction upon walking up those stairs and stepping out into the early September sunshine – that perfect weather, where it’s still summer, but it’s not unbearably hot – gazing around in wonder at our surroundings. It’s hard to believe that something like this can even exist in such a hectic, crowded city. And when the sun sets? Probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. Read on for an interview with Michele, Director of Events at Brooklyn Grange!
What is the primary purpose of Brooklyn Grange?
Brooklyn Grange is the leading rooftop farming and intensive green roofing business in the US. We operate the world’s largest rooftop soil farms, located on two roofs in New York City, and grow over 50,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year. In addition to growing and distributing fresh local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange also provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide. We partner with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities, and host a variety of events and public programming.
What types of produce can be found on the farm?
Salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, kale, cucumbers, root vegetables, herbs, rainbow chard, ground cherries, and other seasonal vegetables.
Where does the produce from the farm go?
We have several outlets through which we sell our produce. We sell to local restaurants throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, we have 75 CSA members between both farm locations, and we have three farm stands every week.
What has been the most rewarding experience from your involvement with Brooklyn Grange?
The most rewarding aspect of running the Events Program at Brooklyn Grange, is that it brings so many new faces up to the farm every day, some of whom are very familiar with who we are and what we do, and many who never knew there was a rooftop farm in their neighborhood or city. Our events and workshops bring people up to the farm who wouldn’t necessarily seek it out themselves, and many quickly discover that they have a deep interest or passion for urban agriculture. It’s always exciting to be able to talk about the farm with people who come from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and places.
What was your favorite moment from our FP Me Rooftop Event?
My favorite part of the FP Me Rooftop Event was experiencing how open and excited everyone was to meet new people and share each others experiences!
More from our End of Summer Party!Free People Blog
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Brooklyn Grange: A Rooftop Urban Farm