The other day I went to Building 3 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the farmers of Brooklyn Grange are building a new rooftop farm, about an acre large. Earth-movers were there pumping up earth up more than 10 stories from their truck on the ground, and the farmers were trying to stay right behind the earth installation, so that as soon as the fluffy soil was down, they were filling it with seeds and seedlings.
The roof had a sweeping view of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and harbor, the light was golden, everyone was happy. I planted lettuce seedlings and then poked holes in the soil with my index finger, dropped in lettuce seeds, and patted earth down so they wouldn’t blow away—it’s windy up there. Ben Flanner, the lead farmer, is already planning to sell the produce to restaurants.
In the elevator on the way out, two guys in polo shirts from an office on a lower floor got in and stared at the tanned, sunbleached, dirt-covered kids coming down from the roof.
"Like you’re going to grow vegetables in Brooklyn!" he said.