Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Trip to the Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint

As stated a couple posts ago, I ventured out into my community to be with the people of New York for a workshop at the rooftop farm in Greenpoint (my neighborhood):

I find that, in life, there are not many experiences where one has an idealistic view/image/idea in mind upon approaching them and, lo and behold, that image matches perfectly with reality. This was one of those rare and epic scenes of life: rows of plants, vegetables, edibles all perfectly nestled on top of the most expansive, well curated and fascinating building tops in the city. It was astounding, to put it most simply.

The workshop that I arrived a bit late to was given by Annie, one of the farm's main ... farmers. Annie, who studied chocolate agriculture and worked at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, told us what it means for their farm to be organic. Though the farm is not 'certified organic' and has no plans to be (Annie called the paperwork, time and money it costs to have the measly, slowly-growing-meaningless label of certified organic "horseshit" -- and I have to agree) the only means of getting rid of pesky bugs and diseases is by:

-Hand Weeding, Picking Frequently
-Diluted Copper
-Diluted Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap
-Coffee Grounds
and they were potentially considering doing caterpillar juice.

The farm uses a specific blend of rooptop soil and I was also lucky enough to participate in their first compost bed lay, done with compost that they made themselves from the refuse of local restaurants (Annie said the compost was almost combustible, white hot when they dug it out of the bin that day!). What an amazing cyclical gesture and symbiotic style, though.

Think of it: They grow vegetables and food for Marlow and Sons, for example, this food is prepared/eaten and then discarded into a compost bin which the farm itself picks up from the restaurant, the compost goes back to the farm to fertilize future vegetables. It's an incredible cycle of foodiness. Obviously, I adore this.

Without further ado, a few photos:


Kristen said...

Fantastic! I actually read about this awhile back. I'm so jealous you got to take part in getting your hands dirty. Yay!

P.S. You rock :)

Anonymous said...

Have you and Hannes become members? Will you have a row to cultivate? The photos are fabulous - a garden way up in the sky, cleaning the air, and greening up Greenpoint - yeah!

Anonymous said...

Happy B'day!!
What a great undertaking, how appropriate for these times. I guess it kills a lot of flies with one swap. Environment, economy, fulfillment, healthy eating etc etc.

Keep it up, it is very inspirative.
thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

every sunday right?


Dana Lade said...

This is so bad ass! I loved the photos.