Brooklyn Navy Yard is growing

August 10, 2012 by  

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted on last week’s visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, more than a tree grows in Brooklyn. In fact, the Mayor was in the borough to visit an entire farm – on a rooftop.

More than 20,000 pounds of fresh produce are expected to be harvested from a 43,000 square foot garden atop one of the Navy Yard’s buildings. In addition to the vegetables that will be distributed through local farmers’ markets and to area restaurants, this experimental oasis, funded in part through the Green Infrastructure program, is also a demonstration in storm water control.

Bloomberg spoke with praise and excitement about the project, saying:

“Along with fresh produce and new jobs, the city’s largest rooftop garden will absorb more than one million gallons of storm water and help keep our harbors and streams clean.”

The garden is run by Brooklyn Grange and Skyland USA. Soil that was specially blended for rooftop locations was developed by the company, based on more than two years’ experience at their flagship farm in Long Island City .

Ben Flanner is President of Brooklyn Grange and head farmer for the Navy Yard site. During the Mayor’s vist, he explained:

“We’re just really excited to launch this farm on this roof and start getting the vegetables out to the community.”

Brooklyn, with its diverse population and commercial space costs lower than those of Manhattan, has long attracted small businesses, from stationery printers to deli operators. With this latest eco-farm development in the Navy Yard, it appears that Brooklyn’s future business growth could be poised to go through the roof.