Shepherding Vegetables From Roof to Restaurant in New York

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Liz Dowd, 33, of Brooklyn, is a farm manager for Brooklyn Grange.CreditRick Loomis for The New York Times

We grow produce on the roofs of two buildings in New York City, one atop Building 3 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the other in Long Island City in Queens.

By Perry Garfinkel
New York Times
June 1, 2018

Excerpt:

Aside from sellling to restaurants, members of Community Service Associations and directly to the public via weekly farm stands, what else does the Brooklyn Grange do?

We do guided tours and host workshops. We have youth programming in collaboration with an organization called City Growers. With the Queens-based Refugee and Immigrant Fund’s Urban Farm Recovery Project, we’ve trained refugees from Africa, Asia and Central America, who get work experience and build their résumés, as well as engage in therapeutic horticultural activities.

We host a multicourse vegetarian feast called Veggiepalooza, an annual tomato dinner and what we call Butcher Paper Dinners in Long Island City. We also host beekeeping training programs. We even have yoga classes on the roof amid the garden beds.

Do you have direct contact with chefs?

I do. It’s very rewarding to find out what they want. For instance, we can grow tiny purple edible flowers to top their dishes if that’s what they want.

I have a very close relationship with Balthazar, on Manhattan’s lower West Side, where I have worked as a waitress for more than 10 years and still serve on Saturday nights. What a pleasure to see the fruits of my daytime labor cooked so well, and watch happy well-fed faces. Sometimes I get to be the delivery person at both ends of that produce’s journey — farmer to table.

Read the complete article here.

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