As rooftop season draws to a close, there was one more spot I had to check out, so this past weekend I hopped on a delayed R train and took an unplanned Uber, to make it in time for happy hour at Brooklyn Grange.
But happy hour was actually a tour, and the closest thing to a Bloody Mary here was a tomato. That’s because Brooklyn Grange is a rooftop farm. With cities like New York and Chicago leading the charge, here’s why growing from above is the next big thing.
As urban populations grow and the demand for food continues to rise, agriculture from above makes perfect sense. By growing on rooftops in urban spaces, food can be sourced locally, with its nutrients still intact (see here).
Reducing carbon emissions
Sourcing locally also minimizes distribution thereby lowering carbon emissions, versus the thousands of trucks on the road, to put foreign produce on your local aisles.
Lowering energy costs
Rooftop farming offers a fantastic way to insulate the structures they are built upon, lowering the building’s heating costs.
What distinguishes rooftop farming and more generally, urban farming, is the relationship to community. Unlike traditional farms in rural expanses, rooftop farming is embedded in its community. Whether it be through education programs with local schools, or consulting local businesses who wish to set up their own urban gardens, the rooftop farmer is driven by a need to serve those around them.
Don’t let the paradox fool you – rooftop farming is shaping ecology in ways that promise to deliver a healthier, sustainable and happier world. Now go check out your local rooftop!
As always, pushing for health.