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Demand is growing for produce from local rooftop farm

March 30, 2013 By Bill Parry and Christian Murray

A one-acre rooftop farm located in Long Island City is generating so much interest from consumers of fresh vegetables—that the manager is adding new members.

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, which was established at 37-16 Northern Blvd in Long Island City in 2010, is a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm where members pay an upfront price and pick up a share of the harvest once a week.

Last year the farm had 30 CSA members. However, for this summer’s growing season, the plan is to double the number to 60.

“The feedback we’ve received thus far [since 2010] has been really great, so we wanted to give more … access to the farm’s harvest,” said Anastasia Cole Plakias, the director of communications and sales.

The rooftop farm produces tomatoes, peppers, kale, herbs, carrots, radishes and beans. All vegetables are grown according to organic principles without chemical or synthetic fertilizer, insecticides or herbicides.

To join, the membership fee is $576.  Members will receive a share of the harvest once a week during the 24 week growing season that begins Saturday, May 18 and runs through Saturday, October 26. Brooklyn Grange kicks off the growing season with an open house on Saturday, May 4th.

Last year, Brooklyn Grange opened another rooftop farm—this one at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A separate CSA has been established with this farm, where there are 25 spots available.

The Navy Yard CSA—unlike its flagship operation in LIC—also offers flowers as well.

Brooklyn Grange was originally going to operate out of a building in Brooklyn (hence the name) but the landlord pulled out of the deal. The company later discovered the rooftop space on top of the 6-story Standard Motor Products Building in Long Island City.

In addition to the CSAs, the group runs a farm stand that’s open to the public and also supplies some restaurants and local schools.

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