Thanks to the Columbia Business School Sustainability Club, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit one of the first and largest urban farms in NYC– the Brooklyn Grange, actually located in Long Island City, Queens.
With a view of the Manhattan skyline, this 40,000+ sq ft (1 acre) farm exists as proof of the power of determination, as the farm required hoisting over 1 million lbs of soil to the roof of a huge warehouse. The 3 main partners are young inspiring entrepeneurs dedicated to healthy local food.
Now in its 4th year, many types of greens, vegetables and seeds are raised and sold to chefs at area restaurants, so this is a successful for-profit enterprise. The soil is made up of compost for organic nutrients mixed with lightweight, porous stones, with an elaborate subsystem for drainage. The food is grown organically and air quality is monitored and found to be of better quality than at street level. The farm also boasts several chickens and two small bee hives. More on this incredible farm and its events and CSA are at: http://www.brooklyngrangefarm.com