The Real Deal New York

Staten Island building hires city’s first “resident farmer”

The farmer will manage an onsite vegetable garden
The Urby rental complex on Staten Island

The Urby rental complex on Staten Island

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