When you think of New York City, green spaces and farming aren’t the first things that come to mind. Brooklyn Grange is an exception to this rule, however. Brooklyn Grange comprises a total of three rooftops throughout NYC, and its goal is to grow and distribute fresh vegetables and herbs to those living in the concrete jungle. Not only does the company sell organic plants, but it also hosts educational workshops and programs such as “Beekeeping 101: Hive Inspection,” “Flow on the Farm – Sunday Evening Yoga,” “Introduction to Medicinal Mushrooms with Smugtown,” “Regenerative Soil Management Techniques” and more.
I first came across Brooklyn Grange after being quarantined for a few months. I was dying for the chance to interact with nature. Without any green spaces in my neighborhood, though, this seemed impossible. After researching, I discovered the Brooklyn Grange and decided to visit the urban farm with my mom, who also wanted a breath of fresh air.
The location we went to, Brooklyn Navy Yard Farm, was located on the roof of a building I had seen many times before. I never expected to find a natural space here, so I was shocked.
To enter the farm, I had to first enter the building and answer a list of questions regarding COVID precautions. Then I waited for the separate elevator that goes to the roof, which opened up to rows of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I walked around the 65,000 sq foot roof and saw the market, the food scraps bin, and a lot of plants. It was amazing how much the view changed between looking down at the ground and up at the skyline. Looking down, I felt like I was in a rural farm. Looking up, I saw the NYC skyline, and I was back in the big city.
I interviewed my mom on the trip to the Brooklyn Grange, since she accompanied me to the rooftop soil farm. She stated, “It was so exciting to be able to look and smell nature from the depths of the city. After being cooped up in the house for months, this urban farm was a great place to breathe in fresh air and look at natural herbs, flowers, and vegetables.”
The Brooklyn Grange is definitely worth a visit for those who live in the area, and even for tourists. Although the farm is only open on Saturdays, the rooftop isn’t crowded, as not many people know about this hidden gem. This makes it perfect for pictures and relaxation. The Brooklyn Grange also hires and trains refugees and immigrants who want to share their farming knowledge with the community. A trip to the Brooklyn Grange is free, and comes with many learning opportunities.