On a chilly spring day at the end of May, I was very fortunate to join Indira Naidoo and five others on a tour of Brooklyn Grange as part of her “Rooftop Farm and Food Tour of New York.”
Brooklyn Grange is a 65,000 sq foot rooftop farm located in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. We were privileged to be led by one of the founding partners, Anastasia Plakias, who peppered us with an incredible amount of information while taking us around the rooftop farm. One of the many facts that stuck with me was about the rainwater management aspect of the rooftop farm.
Brooklyn Grange was largely funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Initiative. Apparently, only after around 20 min of steady rain, New York’s antiquated sewerage system overflows and untreated wastewater and sewerage is released into New York’s waterways (this is why you should always check the status of NYC’s beaches before heading out). Rooftop gardens and farms help to ease the burden of storm water management and reduce the amount of pollution in New York’s water ways.
It was a fascinating and very educational tour. I highly recommend it for anyone into gardening or for anyone interested in the environment and could not be more grateful to Indira and Anastasia for providing such a unique and wonderful New York experience.
Brooklyn Grange have regular tours of their farm (as well as a range of other activities including dinners, yoga, pilates and farmers markets). For more information or to book a tour, click here.
And for more detailed information about the storm water / waste water / sewerage issue, see this NY Times article and this one for more about the environmental benefits of green roofs.