Brooklyn Grange is the World’s Largest Rooftop Farm!

by , 10/18/11

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, brooklyn grange, brooklyn grange farm, urban farm nyc, world's largest rooftop farm

Brooklyn Grange is the product of Wisconsin native and Head Farmer Ben Flanner, who in 2009 started the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, the first rooftop soil farm in NYC. Flanner’s interest and passion for farm-to-table food led to a farming team with roots in the restaurant business. The owners of Roberta’s in Bushwick, Chris Parachini and Brandon Roy, as well as restaurant veteran Anastasia Plakias, sustainable food advocate Gwen Schantz, and the team’s first apprentice Rob Lateiner, in addition to dozens of volunteers, all contribute to the farm’s growing success. The team partnered with Bromley Caldari, a NYC architect firm dedicated to problem solving, and Acumen Capital Partners, a private company dedicated to the reuse and sustainable renovation of commercial spaces in New York City. Acumen has leased the warehouse rooftop to Brooklyn Grange for 10 years.

Brooklyn Grange‘s organic produce is grown in 7.5” deep beds with Rooflite soil. Produced by Pennsylvania soil company Skyland, Rooflite is a lightweight soil composed of organic matter compost and small porous stones which break down to add trace minerals that are needed for the produce to grow into a healthy and mature state. The use of organic soil means that everything produced by Brooklyn Grange is sustainable and good for you. The farm had a nine-month growing season last year, and during the winter, they used cover-crops such as rye, buckwheat, vetch, and clove, resulting in a year-round production of organic goodness right in the heart of NYC!

Ben Flanner and his team are community oriented which has helped the young for-profit business succeed. The farmers at Brooklyn Grange hope to reconnect the city to its farms and farmers by improving city citizens’ access to good, healthy food. Ultimately, the team’s goal is to show that urban farming is a viable enterprise and livelihood that contributes to a sustainable economy and the health of the city. The produce is available for everyday New Yorkers as well as businesses, which in addition to Roberta’s include Vesta in Astoria, Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg and many others throughout the city.

Brooklyn Grange is looking forward to expanding to many more roofs to help increase the education and training available to those interested in urban farming. To get involved with the farm, visit Brooklyn Grange’s website.

+ Brooklyn Grange
+ Bromley Caldari Architects, PC



  1. Rubentong1 August 7, 2014 at 11:23 am
    I would like to visit your roof gardens and learn to adopt your technology. I am a retired physician with some time to spend on greens. With rising cost of living and especially of food plus the threat of GMOs, people will benefit from planting vegetables in their own back yard or rooftops. We are learning from you. Thank you.
  2. peacezone February 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm
    The air pollution and airborne toxins that can come down with the rain is a problem. ....basically rooftop gardening is a sound idea. It is happening all over - Peace
  3. lsobczuk October 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    Green roofs are the future. Functional, sustainable and beautiful.
  4. mtlmurrriel October 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm
    Is it larger than the roof-top greenhouse in Montreal? There is one that is 31000 square feet on an industrial building, Lufa Farms, they sell veggies all year round too!
  5. jetle25 May 3, 2011 at 11:08 am
    Control the environment? Sounds like a typical human
  6. ripouse April 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm
    Beautiful. Really really popular in Cuba.. ( they don't really have a choice). Marcus: The freon in the airconditionning usually stays in the machine. About the smog... Are you serious ?
  7. manxcat57555 April 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm
    apparently you didn't read it all marcus, they are year round, and i would take smog over the pesticides and herbicides used on conventional farms.
  8. marcus2 April 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    how is this organic?? you have air conditioners on the roof.. freon or puron refrigerant ISN"T ORGANIC... neither is the smog from the city!.... build a green house and CONTROL the environment in which it grows... and you can harvest all year round... this will increase the food production.... just at thought
  9. WBrooke April 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm
    Wow, beautiful. This is what all industrial roofs ought to look like.