In the Heights
If you think lugging groceries up three flights to your apartment is bad, try hauling 360 bags of soil to the roof of a warehouse in Queens.
The soil--which was hoisted to a Long Island City rooftop back in May--has since been spread out over the acre of space that is Brooklyn Grange, the city's first full-fledged commercially viable rooftop farm. It now produces 30 types of lettuce, 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, beets, carrots, kale, herbs, radishes, cauliflower, cucumbers and more against a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.
Brooklyn Grange farmer Ben Flanner (who co-founded Greenpoint's Eagle Street Rooftop Farm) estimates that in just a month since planting, nearly 1,000 pounds of produce have already been harvested.
So far the vegetables have gone straight to restaurant kitchens, including Vesta, Bobo, Fatty Crab and Roberta's (whose owner is involved in the project). And the produce will take center stage at Jeffrey's Luncheonette--a project from Joseph Leonard's Gabe Stulman--which is scheduled to open this fall.
Yesterday the Grange started selling its wares at the source, with farm stands in front of the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and at Roberta's on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brooklyn Grange, 37-18 Northern Blvd. (at 37th Ave.), Queens; brooklyngrangefarm.com