We have long been a proponent of rooftop gardens and farms which make fine use of otherwise unproductive space, as well as serving to insulate buildings, prevent damaging runoff and alleviate the Heat Island Effect.
Manhattan is, after all, a vertical metropolis where the use of every square foot is both art and science. While we think of that verticality as height, it can work productively both ways. Up. And down.
Thus, it is that a basement in TriBeCa contains one of the City’s best-kept secrets and most unique establishments – a 1,200 square foot, hydroponic urban farm where 500 varieties of greens and herbs grow with neither soil nor sunlight.
The growth medium is, instead, water-based and nutrient-rich and the “sunlight” is LED lighting. No pesticides are used, but you will find beneficial insects hard at work protecting the precious crops. The close proximity, pesticide-free produce is used by many of the City’s fine restaurants – think Le Coucou, Daniel & Butter for a few – and is also available for your home table.
Freshness is guaranteed as products are delivered via bike and subway within the hour. Only in New York can you get summer sorrel hand-delivered during a snowstorm.
For the garden’s website, log onto farm.one where you can learn more, book a tour or hold your next special – really special – event.
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By Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD + C strong> President, Metropolitan Valuation Services