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

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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 couldn’t 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]