Gallery: Paul Lightfoot, Mario Batali and Marty Markowitz Kick Off Plan...

INHABITAT:Can you tell us a little bit more about the types of fruits and vegetables that will be grown on the farm?

Paul Lightfoot:On this project we expect to be growing several lettuce varieties, several tomato varieties and several herb varieties. We'll have grape tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine and cocktail tomatoes. And they will be the best tomatoes that Brooklyn's ever had. A local tomato grown with care is on a different planet than a supermarket tomato. You can taste the loving and the difference.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz donned a pair of bright blue Crocs to match celebrity chef Mario Batali’s for the event.

Lightfoot introduced Brightfarms’ plan for the world’s largest rooftop farm with help from his adorable daughter Amelia Independence Lightfoot. “We are what we eat,” he said, and described how he wished only the best, freshest food for Amelia so that she can grow up healthy. He also spoke about how children love to see where their food comes from and that everyone deserves to know exactly how and where their food is grown – a prospect that the new rooftop farm in Brooklyn will make possible for many New Yorkers.

The CEO went on to describe how Brooklyn used to be one of the most significant agricultural counties in the United States (we had no idea), and expressed his hope to bring that title back to Kings County. “Every million dollars in local food sales supports 13 jobs,” he said, citing another reason why local is better. He also reiterated the most obvious reason local produce is more desirable than fruits and veggies shipped across the country – “produce is less tasty and less nutritious” when it’s been sitting on a truck for days.


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