NEWS: Rooftop Farming Grows at New Bronx Housing Project
Watch the NBC video about the new rooftop greenhouse hydroponic farm that opened in the Bronx today. We were lucky enough to attend:
Sky Vegetables is the company behind the newly constructed 8,000 sqf rooftop greenhouse. Built on top of a new affordable housing development, this project could be the first example of commercial hydroponic agriculture integrated into a residential structure. This will be Sky Vegetables’ first rooftop hydroponic greenhouse in NYC as they expand from their home state of Massachusetts where they already have several others up and running. Their team includes Joe Swartz, who has been featured as a BIA leader on this blog because of his 46,000+ hours of hydroponic greenhouse experience, and Laurie Schoeman, who has worked with every BIA company in NYC.
As an established leader in sustainable urban agriculture, Sky Vegetables brings even more innovation, opportunity, and fresh local food to NYC where building-integrated agriculture is taking off.
A new Bronx building will soon have residents going green in more ways than one. Known as “Arbor House”, the nearly $38 million project built on land purchased from the New York City Housing Authority’s Forest Houses property in Morrisania boasts a hydroponic rooftop farm for growing fresh vegetables. The eight-story building located at 770 East 166th Street features 124 units of affordable housing and a variety of green perks like a living green wall in the lobby and “stair music”, in the hopes that people will take the stairs and get some exercise.
But perhaps best of all, residents and the surrounding community will get to enjoy fresh food grown in their very own building.
"We dissolve all the nutrients that plants need for growth - we dissolve them into water and we feed them to the plants and then reclaim all the water nutrients that are not used by plants; so it’s a completely closed system," said Master Farmer Joe Schwartz.
"This is cutting edge, we’re really leading the way citywide and statewide, and the best is yet to come," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Sky Vegetables, the company that built the rooftop garden, is also hoping to expand to other residential buildings.
"Local, fresh, nutritious food is what the people of the cities need. And there is no reason why we can’t turn all of these rooftops into living farms," said Sky Vegetables CEO Bob Fireman.