A view of the East River and a farm

August 22, 2011 2:31:04 PM PDT
We're hearing more and more about urban farming, and now there's a farm in Manhattan that's making the most out of a site that's just sitting and waiting to be developed. It's referred to as a farm, because it's that big. It's believed to be the largest of its sort in Manhattan - about a third of an acre. The farm was planted in the spring and it's been growing right through the summer. The food is consumed at its sister restaurant, which opened less than a year ago.

Okra, usually grows in the south, but it's going well in the City.

"It's strange in a wonderful way," Sisha Ortuzar said.

It's strange for him because he's a chef and now he's also a farmer, and perhaps even stranger is the farm is located on East 29th street next to his restaurant, Riverpark.

"We looked down and said what about that plot of land," Jeffrey Zurofsky explained.

Zurofsky is Sisha's business partner. They eyed a plot of land owned by their landlord, Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Alexandria gave them green thumbs up to develop the otherwise stalled site.

There's a catch, because this site will one day be developed, so the farm had to be portable.

Milk crates are used to grow the food. The top crate gets a liner and soil. The bottom crate is kept empty to allow for air flow.

It's pretty ingenious, and those crates will be moved to other areas on this 5 acre campus on East 29th Street when construction begins.

And there's more. You probably have heard of farm to table, but how about a table in the farm? Dining for 12.

If you're interested in checking out the farm, there are little windows in the wall around it for you to peak through and, in September, a low fence will be placed there instead. You might just be best off eating at Riverpark to experience what's being grown there.