Maybe Manhattan Isn’t the Best Place to Plant a Garden

Photo: iStockphoto

Look at that! A lot of Americans started gardening as a means of saving money when the economy tanked, but now the Washington Post brings word that people are going to keep doing it not only because food costs are going up up up, but also because "it's just so fun harvesting your own food," in the words of one at-home gardener. This is nice! We are all for such a thing. But as we all know, you don't have to be Joe Consumer to get into the gardening game. Or even have a traditional planting space! Plenty of restaurants in the city are resorting to rooftop gardens to make sure much of their produce is really local. One such place: Bell Book & Candle. Too bad The New Yorker thinks their lettuce is disgusting!

This week's "Tables for Two" takes a look at the West Village restaurant and concludes that there are probably better places to grow vegetables than a Manhattan rooftop: "Thousand Island dressing on a 'living leaf' salad of rooftop greens did little to mask the smoky aftertaste of city exhaust fumes." Yeesh. Even always-delicious pork can't help this produce! "[A] Snickers-size chunk of pork belly atop another bed of greens couldnt save the vegetables from their terroir."

And it sounds like the Parks Department agrees with The New Yorker: According to DNA Info, they ripped up a "secret" Washington Heights farm over the weekend, claiming the veggies grown were unfit for consumption.

Still-struggling economy, rising food prices, food safety concerns keep gardening boom going [WP]
Tables for Two: Bell Book & Candle [NYer]
Parks Dept. Uproots Rogue Farm in Washington Heights Park [DNA Info]