Water Saving Hydroponic Rooftop Farm for Brooklyn

More and more places are being sought after for hydroponic greenhouses. This time an old Navy warehouse in Sunset Park that had been vacant for 12 years will be home to a massive hydroponic greenhouse of approx 100,000 square feet. It will be the largest of its type in the USA.brooklyn rooftop farm, Credit: Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times

Bright Farms, a private company that develops greenhouses, announced rooftop farm, hydroponic greenhouse New YOrk, Dating Symbol blogplans torooftop farm, hydroponic greenhouse New YOrk, Dating Symbol blog create a huge greenhouse on a roof in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that is expected to yield a million pounds of produce a year — without a sod of soil in sight. Construction is expected to start in the fall, with the first harvest expected by spring.

This greenhouse will boast the largest rooftop farm in the United States according to Bright Farms officials. And another rooftop farm developer  Brooklyn Grange, is set to open a 45,000-square-foot commercial operation at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“Brooklyn was an agricultural powerhouse in the 19th century, and it has now become a local food scene second to none,” said Paul Lightfoot, the chief executive of Bright Farms. “We’re bringing a business model where food is grown and sold right in the community.”

Mr. Lightfoot said that the company was initiating talks with supermarket chains to garner their commitment  to buying produce from the Sunset Park farm. Produce will  include a variety of lettuces, tomatoes and herbs. “We’re looking for a long-term contract with one client who operates grocery stores,” he said.

To understand the scale of the Brooklyn greenhouse  – it will rise 20 feet from the roof of an eight-storey building. ‘With New York having a shortage of unused land to grow fresh food, hydroponic greenshouses on rooftops of industrial buildings are perfect for urban farming‘ explained Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn’s Borough President.

Hydroponic agriculture, in which vegetables are grown in water rather than soil, have grown in popularity as the farms’ yields have increased. This is attributed to advances in hydroponic technology, as well as quick turnaround times from growers to restaurants and stores. Bright Farms hydroponic farms are good for the environment as they use far less water, by diverting storm water from the sewer system, which can overflow during heavy rain. It is estimated the Sunset Park greenhouse could capture approximately 1.8 million gallons of storm water each year.

With a few other commercial hydroponic rooftop farms including Brooklyn Grange and Gotham Greens  already in New YOrk City, the fresh food supplies are looking brighter.   And with more rooftop farms in planning for Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx for next year, things can only get better.

A version of this article appeared in print on April 6, 2012, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: Huge Rooftop Farm Is Set for Brooklyn.

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