Plenty of other cities across the country -- Portland, Oregon; Detroit; and Chicago -- also foster plenty of urban farming initiatives, but as Annie Novak, co-founder of the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, explains, New York City is particularly primed for the urban agriculture movement, as it has long boasted a strong commitment to green spaces.
“New York City has always had a very vibrant community of urban gardeners, it’s always had a lot of food justice organizations, there was a strong CSA movement, there were youth markets and green markets; I think the biggest shift was probably just looking upward,” she says of the move toward rooftop gardening.
While comparatively small at just 6,000sqft, Eagle Street has found a strong community of supporters in Greenpoint, where it set up shop in 2009 atop Broadway Stages, a sound stage company. Offering sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan skyline, the farm grows more than 30 types of produce, including cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, salad greens, peas, and carrots, and supplies its customers via a CSA as well as a seasonal market. Nearby pizzeria Paulie Gee’s and Williamsburg’s Marlow & Sons are among it restaurant clients.