Rooftop Farming at Brooklyn Grange (PHOTOS)

Categories: Gardening Today

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Atop the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Grange is taking rooftop agriculture to the next level.
A couple weeks ago, Brooklyn Grange managing partner Anastasia Cole-Plakias showed me around Brooklyn Grange's Navy Yard rooftop farm. Though it was the very height of the July heat wave, there was magic inherent to being on a rooftop, and that magic becomes transcendent when you're surrounded by neat rows of rich, dark soil producing bushels of food in the heart of New York City.

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Bed-Stuy's Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market Opens for the Season (PHOTOS)

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Brooklyn-grown garlic scapes at Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market
With summer blooming in full color around us, farmers' market season is in full swing. And while Union Square's famous Greenmarket proffers some of the freshest food around, crowd-wary shoppers don't have to join the swarming masses on 14th Street. Throughout the city, many community gardens host smaller, friendlier markets where you can stock your crisper with hand-picked produce grown right in your neighborhood. These markets are a great chance to get out, get to know your neighbors, and load up on veggies while supporting your community. Best of all, there's no need to board a subway. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, for instance, Hattie Carthan Community Garden holds weekend markets in two locations.

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Riverpark Farm Readies Itself for Winter

Riverpark Farm, in warmer times

Winter's a tough time for any farm, and especially for farms that are just starting out. The 15,000-square-foot Riverpark Farm at Alexandria Center, a collaboration between Riverpark restaurant and the Alexandria Center for Life Science, is no exception. "The storm this week got us by surprise because we weren't prepared for it," says Sisha Ortúzar, Riverpark's chef and a co-founder of the farm along with Jeffrey Zurofsky and Scarlet Shore. But the cold weather isn't going to halt the farm completely. In fact, Ortúzar has plans to grow vegetables throughout the winter months.

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A Goodly Gallery of Garden Herbs

Sage -- This herb gives savory flavor to sausages and stuffings, either by itself or in combination with other herbs. To amaze your friends at dinner parties, pick a handful of the thick, fleshy leaves and fry them to crispness in olive oil, then sprinkle them with sea salt. Much better than potato chips as a snack.

Among gardeners, it's a well-known supposition that herbs flourish best in impoverished soil: dry, sandy, and well-drained. In the heat of the summer, herbs almost ooze the oil that carries their flavor and scent. Yet, during this rainy season, the herbs at the 6th & B Garden in the East Village have prospered as never before, sprawling across the plots, producing a biomass far in excess of normal. Yes, these herbs are somewhat less pungent than when growing in the heat of the summer, but that means you can use them in salads in addition to the usual applications. Here is a gallery of herbs found in the garden now.

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