New York City Sees Farm-to-Table Movement Merge With Condo Boom

Josh Barbanel reported today at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “It was only a matter of time before the farm-to-table movement merged with the Brooklyn condominium boom.

“On a large south-facing terrace on the eighth floor of 550 Vanderbilt Ave., an 18-story brick and concrete building near the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, crews are erecting three large metal boxes and filling them with soil suitable for high-altitude farming.

Condo owners will be able to sign up for a small plot to grow their own vegetables there, alongside Ian Rothman, a farmer and co-owner of Olmsted, a trendy farm-to-table restaurant a few blocks away.”

The Journal article explained that, “Farm-to-condo is an extension of the flowering urban farming movement that has produced crops on the grounds of public-housing developments and on the sprawling rooftops of commercial buildings in the city.

“Last year a 5,000 square-foot farm opened in a courtyard between two rental buildings at Urby, a development near the waterfront in Stapleton on Staten Island. That farm is tended by a resident farmer, who receives a salary and a free apartment to tend the fields.”

Mr.┬áBarbanel added that, “Condo owners will be able to sign up each season for plots of at least 7 feet by 10 feet in the 1,600 square-foot farm, enough to harvest a significant edible crop, said Ashley Cotton, executive vice president for external affairs at Forest City Ratner Cos. The largest farm bed will be about 39 feet by 21 feet and will be divided by plank walkways.”

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