In Brooklyn yesterday, BrightFarms announced that it would be building the largest rooftop farm … in the world!!!
The New York-based company builds hydroponic greenhouse farms that are connected to supermarkets. The idea is to minimize transportation costs and time in the food system, delivering very local and very fresh food.
The new farm is going on 100,000 square feet of rooftop in Sunset Park. It will grow up to 1 million pounds of veggies like tomatoes, lettuces, and herbs each year, with the first harvest planned for next spring. The system also will capture storm water, diverting it from New York’s overtaxed sewer system.
This is exactly the sort of project that New York City was trying to make room for with a proposed change in the zoning law, which would allow greenhouses to extend above a building’s regular height limit. The BrightFarms greenhouse will stretch 20 feet off the roof of the warehouse, already eight stories tall.
For what it’s worth, The New York Times was a little more tempered in its assessment of the farm’s relative size: “When finished, the greenhouse will rank as the largest rooftop farm, in the United States — and possibly the world, Bright Farms officials says.” Buzzkills. We’ll give it to you, BrightFarms. You’ll always be the largest rooftop farm in our world.