Taking farming to a new level

August 25, 2010 3:06:47 PM PDT
Urban gardening can be a challenge.

Many city dwellers would jump at the chance for a sliver of outdoor space to practice their green thumb, but one man is taking it to the next level.

Ben Flanner is a proud prolific farmer. His produce is grown on one acre that happens to be at the top of a building in Long Island City.

"We covered the entire roof with a green roof membrane and soil," he explained.

That was in May. Now it's harvest time. Much of the work is done by volunteers. What they reap gets sold to local residents and restaurants.

The goal is to cut down on the waste and cost of shipping food and to instead use local spaces in productive ways.

The rooftop rent costs less office space inside the building, but the landlord stands to gain because a green roof cuts down on heating and cooling costs.

The idea for all of this was actually born in Brooklyn where Ben lives, so even though this farm is in Queens, it's called Brooklyn Grange.

If you want to get in on the produce, Brooklyn Grange holds a farmers' market in the lobby of the building at 37-18 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City where the farm is located on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm.