Brooklyn Grange (New York) : The largest rooftop farm in the United States


( Brooklyn Grange is a 5.6-acre organic urban rooftop farm in New York City, growing vegetables and honey for local restaurants, markets, and community-supported agriculture. The farm is located on three rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens.

Their first rooftop farm was established in 2010 on a 43,000 sq. ft. building straddling Astoria and Long Island City, the second location was built in 2012 atop the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the third location established in 2019 sits atop Liberty View in Sunset Park,_Brooklyn, is 140,000 square feet - the largest rooftop farm in New York City. Together, they produce over 80,000 lbs. of organically-grown vegetables each year.

The Grange also operates New York City's largest apiary, with over forty naturally-managed honey beehives, which yields approximately 1,500 pounds of honey annually. It was started in the spring of 2010 by former Wisconsinite Ben Flanner, President and Head Farmer, with the help of Anastasia Plakias, Vice President, and Gwen Schantz, Chief Operating Officer. The group took out loans, contributed their own money and found investors to fund the project. The Brooklyn Navy Yard farm was financed in part by at $592,730 grant from the NYCDEP's Green Infrastructure Grant Program. In addition to growing and distributing local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide and partner with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities.

All three farms consist of green roof systems laid down before the soil. For the first farm on Northern Blvd, the job took six days of craning 3,000-pound soil sacks seven stories up to the roof. Brooklyn Grange laid down a series of drainage plates distributed by Conservation Technologies. The system is as follows: a layer of root-barrier, which prevents the plants’ roots from penetrating the surface of the roof; a thick layer of felt; drainage mats with small cups to hold excess water from heavy rainstorms (the soil and plants wick this stored water up in dry conditions to keep water use down), and finally, a thin layer of felt to prevent the drainage mats from filling up with soil.

The second farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has a green roof system which consists of a lightweight drainage aggregate, with a layer of similar felt above to filter the solid particles and keep the system together.

The soil is sourced from Skyland, Pennsylvania, a green roof media supplier. Almost a million pounds of the blend called Rooflite, an engineered soil mix that contains no actual soil, was used. The stones make the material lighter in weight and also slowly break down to add trace minerals needed for plant nutrition. The beds are about 8-12″ deep with shallow walkways.

According to wikipedia

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