Navy Yard

Summer splendor at Brooklyn Grange

Eye On Real Estate

July 22, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This urban farm you see on the roof of Building 3 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is called Brooklyn Grange. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Sunflowers are a many-splendored thing.

And when your eyeballs encounter them in the middle of an industrial park, that’s special cause for rejoicing — even when the industrial park in question is the stellar Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Don’t misunderstand.

We love looking at the historic architectural eye candy and picturesque industrial gear (think giant cranes, and a dry dock built before the Civil War) in the 200-plus-year-old former Naval shipyard. We just didn’t expect to find big, fat, beautiful sunflowers on the roof of Building 3, where everybody’s favorite urban farm, Brooklyn Grange, is located.

We admit it: We were expecting to find a rooftop covered with kale plants to the exclusion of all else. Yeah, yeah, we were guilty of thinking in stereotypes for a moment.

Instead, there were sunflowers growing all over the place in the 65,000-square-foot commercial garden. There were brightly-hued zinnias, too. And clover was another charming surprise.

The wide array of produce under cultivation included salad greens, zucchini and all manner of healthy stuff.

“You name it, we have it,” Brooklyn Grange manager Matt Jefferson told us. “We just plucked 100 pounds of cucumbers.”

He said the Grange sells 70% of its produce to restaurants. Also, it has a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and is a vendor at a Sunday farmers’ market in Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park.

Our trip to the Grange was part of our recent visit to the Navy Yard to speak with Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.’s president and CEO, David Ehrenberg.

Our photographer colleague Rob Abruzzese took these photos for us. Have a look.

Brooklyn Grange offers public tours of its Brooklyn Navy Yard rooftop farm — but visitors must register beforehand to gain admittance. See for details.

By the way, the Brooklyn Navy Yard also offers tours. See for info.

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