Friday, August 13, 2010

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

My friend Carlos who works at the Brooklyn Borough Commissioner's office helped to set up this visit on Wednesday to the impressive 6,000 SF Eagle Street rooftop farm on top of a warehouse in Greenpoint. There was a wide assortment of people from the community- my office, students from Parson's, people from the Borough Commissioner's office, and miscellaneous landscape and architecture friends who tagged along.

In 2008, founding farmers Annie Novak and Ben Flanner started this organic vegetable farm farm on the roof of the Broadway Stages recording studio (installed by Goode Green). 
With a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline beyond, Annie led our group around the roof, explaining what she grows, how she seemingly pulls it off so effortlessly (!), and even cradled a chicken in her arms at one point. She had a such an easygoing manner that we all felt comfortable with her immediately- good energy for people, plants, and animals! No squirrel or other animal issues up here!

After an initial study on the history and structure of the building, the green roof medium and thickness was carefully chosen so that no additional structural measures would be required to reinforce the building. 200,000 pounds of soil and a wide variety of crops were craned up there, and within one year, the farm was already hosting a Farm Market, CSA, picnics, potlucks and was offering internships and workshops. The crops are sought by neighborhood restaurants, which donate their compost-ready waste back to the farm.

One of the chickens on the roof
 Annie's team made a large platter of fresh bruschetta for us, with freshly picked tomatoes and basil!
Too bad it's so inconvenient for me to get to Greenpoint from where I am... I'd love to support them as much as I could!

No comments: