New York City is not exactly known for its sustainability.
Quite the opposite, actually. Between all of the street garbage, car fumes, and noise pollution that us New Yorkers are all too familiar with, it might seem as though we are actively trying to kill the environment.
We're not, we promise. We've just got places to go and things to do and a very limited space to do all of that in.
But luckily, New York City does have ways of combating this-- one of those being the phenomenon of urban farming.
We understand that the term "urban farming" very well may seem like an absurd contradiction.
But, it's a movement that tons of cities across the country have taken part in, including The Big Apple. You can find at least one urban farm in each of the five boroughs, but we've condensed the list down to 8 you should definitely visit this spring. .
1. Randall's Island Urban Farm (Wards Meadow Loop)
We love Randall's Island for its concerts, festivals, and outdoor activities.
But now, we can appreciate it for an entirely new reason. The island's farm, maintained by GrowNYC and the Randall's Island Park Alliance, is home to hundreds of plants in 20 vegetable beds. It also allows for some pretty spectacular views of the Hell Gate Bridge as well.
2. The Greenhouse at Whole Foods (Gowanus - Brooklyn)
We don't know about you, but we often find ourselves wondering just how "natural" and "fresh" our produce from Whole Foods actually is.
Well, if you shop at the Gowanus location, it's probably pretty damn fresh. The store's rooftop is home to a 20,000-square-foot space where 200 tons of organic, non-GMO produce are grown, the majority of which is sold right in the shop below it.
3. North Brooklyn Farms (320 Kent Avenue - Brooklyn)
After this farm's temporary stay in Havemeyer Park came to a close, enough money was raised to construct a permanent location in South Williamsburg.
In addition to selling their produce, the farm also offers community dinners and educational programs.
4. Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm
Deceptively enough, this farm is not located in Brooklyn, but in Long Island City, atop a warehouse built in 1919.
It opened in 2010 and grows tens of thousands of produce each year in its 43,000-square-foot space.
5. Added Value Farm (3-49 Halleck Street - Brooklyn)
This Red Hook, Brooklyn farm is clearly not just a trend; its 2.5 acre plot has been in existence for 15 years.
And although it suffered quite a bit of damage after Hurricane Sandy, Added Value is back and up and running once again, with no signs of slowing down.
6. Eagle Street Rooftop Farms (44 Eagle Street - Brooklyn)
This quaint, 6,000-square-foot farm was co-founded by Ben Flanner (founder of Brooklyn Grange) and Annie Novak and is located atop a warehouse in Greenpoint.
The farm sells its produce on site, as well as to restaurants in the area. So next time you're at a Greenpoint cafe that boats "farm fresh kale", they just might be telling the truth.
7. Snug Harbor Heritage Farm (1000 Richmond Terrace - Staten Island)
This Staten Island farm's history dates back to an entire century ago.
The farm produces fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs, all of which are sold at the Snug Harbor Farm Stand.
8. Urban Farm at Battery Park (State Street)
Talk about do-gooders.
This farm is harvested entirely by NYU students, and all of the produce is donated to school cafeterias and food pantries.
And they're not skimping-- over 100 types of vegetables are grown in the 25-acre space.