Rooftop Gardens Now Growing Things for Supermarket Shelves

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Brooklyn Grange. Photo: Courtesy Brooklyn Grange

Your blueberries may soon come regularly from Greenpoint instead of places like Chile: Three-year-old company Gotham Greens is now selling their rooftop-grown hydroponic produce (including butterhead lettuce, basil, and salad greens) at outlets like Whole Foods, Eataly, and Union Market. "Local food dries up at [the] end of fall, but if we can grow in a climate-controlled greenhouse, we can provide markets with our vegetables year round," Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri tells the Brooklyn Paper; their farm is located on Humboldt Street, a stone's throw from pioneer rooftop farm Brooklyn Grange.

Selling hydroponically grown vegetables directly to supermarkets is a shift of the model and may just open the floodgates of hyperlocal agribusiness. Even the long-delayed Gowanus Whole Foods has been designed to accommodate a rooftop greenhouse. One company called BrightFarms has developed a scalable, turnkey business model for enclosed, hydroponic rooftop farms. They typically recycle collected rainwater, produce no runoff, and are pesticide-free.

So it looks like were in the midst of a full-on urban agricultural renaissance. At the least, there will be more vegetables to go around, which is wonderful. Just as long as they aren't seasoned with that "smoky aftertaste of city exhaust fumes."

Raise the roof! A new greenhouse opens in Greenpoint [Brooklyn Paper]
Earlier: Maybe Manhattan Isn’t the Best Place to Plant a Garden