Brooklyn Navy Yard to Go Green on Top

March 13, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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More than two centuries old and the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s salad days are just beginning. The flourishing industrial park will soon be getting a 45,000-square-foot open-air, rooftop farm, according to the New York Post.

The Long Island City-based organic farm operation, Brooklyn Grange, is making good on its name (chosen before a last-minute change moved the farm’s first location from Brooklyn to Queens) and opening its first Brooklyn veggie plot on the roof of a Navy Yard building near Flushing Avenue and Cumberland Street.

The commercial farm plans to supply grocers, restaurants, fellow Navy Yard businesses and local shoppers with organic produce during its growing season, which lasts from about March to November, according to Brooklyn Grange managing partner Gwen Schantz.

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Brooklyn Grange distributes its crops in part through local farmer’s markets, and according to Schantz, the farm is considering hosting a regular market outside the Navy Yard to sell its rooftop produce. Schantz says that planting at the Navy Yard farm is slated to start in mid-May, with a first round of crops expected by June.

Along with $310,000 of its own funds and a matched contribution from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., Brooklyn Grange is opening its Navy Yard operation with the help of a $592,730 grant from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The farm won the grant because its 45,000-square-foot stretch of soil is expected to sop up enough rainwater to keep 1 million gallons of sewage out of the East River every year, according to the Post.

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