Rooftop Farming on the Warehouses of North Brooklyn
Rooftop Farms got started in December 2008, with Chris and Lisa Goode, who run Goode Green, a green-roof business, with their partner, Amy Trachtman. They approached Gina Argento, who owns several Greenpoint warehouses, with the idea of farming her rooftops. In the meantime, the Goodes had met Ben Flanner, a former E*Trade marketer turned would-be farmer, who’d heard of Goode Green and was keen on starting an urban-farm business; Flanner brought in Annie Novak, who works at the New York Botanical Garden, for her hands-on planting expertise.
After a building engineer signed off on the weight-bearing limit this past March, the Goodes hauled over 200,000 pounds of soil up to the roof. “It’s a special rooftop mix,” explains Flanner, with compost already mixed in. “An expanded shale is 50 percent of the volume. Feel how light that is.” The roof has sixteen four-foot-wide beds irrigated by rain (a particular boon to the city, Goode points out, since it takes stress off New York’s overtaxed sewer system
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