Urban farming has been fashionable for quite a while now. But one Staten Island apartment complex has accomplished a first for the city: hiring a resident farmer.
The first-of-their-kind farmer will run a small organic farm, as well as rooftop beehives and a compost operation at the $150 million, 900-unit Urby rental complex in the Stapleton section, according to the New York Post.
Zaro Bates, who has extensive urban farming experience, will receive around $40,000 a year and a free apartment for her work.
“A farm as a selling point, an amenity, like a gym — that’s what this is,” Frank “Turtle” Raffaele of the Queens-based cafe chain Coffeed, told the Post. “It’s going to be really game-changing.”
Coffeed is partnering with Ironstate Development to get the initial 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of street-level crops growing.
Once it’s all in bloom, the farm will supply herbs, greens, heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers to an on-site Coffeed restaurant. Veggies will also be sold to tenants and visitors in the complex’s grocery store.
Studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments will range in price from $1,700 to $2,700 a month [NYP] – Christopher Cameron