NYC leads way for rooftop farming

July 12, 2012 09:30AM

Rooftop farms have been sprouting across the five boroughs, led most recently by a city-issued request for proposals for possibly the world’s largest in Hunts Point, and according to the New York Times, New York City is now a leader in the field. And because the Department of City Planning eased zoning regulations to encourage rooftop greenhouses and farms, the city could continue to pull away from the pack.

“I expect it will continue to expand, and much more rapidly, in the near future,” said Joe Nasr, who researches urban agriculture at Ryerson University in Toronto and has penned a book on the subject.

A number of rooftop agriculture operations already exist. For example, Gotham Greens has a hydoponic greenhouse on a Greenpoint rooftop and its crops sell to retailers such as Whole Foods and FreshDirect. It plans three more farms in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Similarly, Brooklyn Grange has a one-acre rooftop in Long Island City and a 65,000-square-foot roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. And BrightFarms created a 100,000-square-foot greenhouse on a roof in Sunset Park and sells produce to the A&P supermarket chain. [NYT]