New York City recently revised its zoning rules to encourage green development — in particular, rooftop agriculture. From the New York Times:
Fed by the interest in locally grown produce, the new farm operations in New York are selling greens and other vegetables by the boxful to organically inclined residents, and by the bushel to supermarket chains like Whole Foods. …
For city officials, the rise of commercial agriculture has ancillary benefits, as well. Rooftop farms have the potential to capture millions of gallons of storm water and divert it from the sewer system, which can overflow when it rains. And harvesting produce in the boroughs means fewer trucks on local roadways and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration. …
[Brooklyn Grange‘s Ben] Flanner pointed out two benefits to an agricultural aerie — plentiful sun and an absence of pests. “There are a number of parallels with regular agriculture,” he said. “What we don’t have are deer or foxes or rodents.”
One challenge: wind, which can whip between buildings and topple delicate seedlings.
We’d particularly like to congratulate the Times reporter who wrote the story, Lisa Foderaro, for her spectacular analogy between the city’s rooftop farms and the cult classic TV show Green Acres. Its theme song is below should your memory need jogging and / or your nostalgia need boosting.
Yet another advantage of greening New York’s roofs: marital harmony.
To Find Fields to Farm in New York City, Just Look Up, New York Times.