The world’s largest rooftop farm is, surprisingly, located in Brooklyn, NY. Established in May 2010, Brooklyn Grange is a solid 2.5 acres worth of farming ingenuity. The farm produces 50,000 pounds of organically grown vegetables each year. The food grown in Brooklyn Grange can be found in local restaurants, farm-stands, and through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
The farm, in its current state, is maintained using the rooftop of two separate buildings. One rooftop is located in Brooklyn, while the other is in Long Island. The farm grows vegetables including: tomatoes, greens, kale, chard, peppers, bac choi, herbs, beans, and radishes to name a few. In addition to the vegetables, the farm also grows mushrooms, and plays host to a chickens and bees.
The farm uses a soil called “rooflite,” which is specifically designed for rooftop gardening applications. Rooflite is, as the name suggest, light in weight as opposed to heavier traditional garden soils. The Brooklyn Grange is also able to produce its own compost which aids plant growth and saves the farmers money.
One of Brooklyn Grange’s latest additions is the bee apiary. Recognized as New York City’s largest apiary, the met goal was to have 25 bee hives and produce 1,000+ pounds of honey each year. The goal was met and exceeded by now having 30 independent bee hives. In April of 2012, a KickStarter fund was created and raised $22,308 for construction of the apiary.
No stranger to crowd sourcing, Brooklyn Grange was started in 2010 from $23,227 in donations for soil, seeds, and a crane rental which delivered the soil to the roof. The Brooklyn Grange now turns a profit each year, a testament to the farmer’s dedication. Since its meager beginnings, the Brooklyn Grange has exceeded all expectations.
In addition to being able to produce food for local residents, Brooklyn Grange employees also provide educational programs to those interested. Volunteers are welcome during operating hours to assist with the needs of the garden. Grange employees offer consulting services for other aspiring urban gardeners no matter where they live in the world. Visitors are welcome to the Grange from May through October, and are allowed to pitch-in, learn, or simply enjoy the view.