“This is truly seed-to-plate agriculture, with no use of fossil fuels,” says Anastasia Cole Plakias, Brooklyn Grange’s vice president and founding partner, of the latter program. “People walk over from where they live, and go home with produce that was picked that morning.”
Plakias is leading me on a tour of the farm, guiding me through the leafy green kale, colorfully stemmed rainbow chard, fragrant mint and oregano, and crisp salad greens (not to mention the coop containing a handful of chickens: Chicki Minaj, Birdie Sanders, and Chickira, among others, given their cheeky monikers by young participants in the Grange's sister non-profit City Growers). And though it’s still early on a weekday, we’re not alone: a few of the Grange’s farmers are busy with the morning’s harvest, while a staff member shepherds one of the farm’s weekly ticketed tours around the roof. While many of the hipsters, tourists, and hipster-tourists making up the group head towards the building’s edge to take panoramic photos of the city skyline, plenty of them also snap selfies with the farm’s giant, now-fading sunflowers, or zoom in on closeups of kaleidoscopic aji dulce peppers.