Urban farming has been gaining popularity these days in NYC, but a Brooklyn-based company is taking the verdant practice to new heights–literally. Hidden away on a Johnson Avenue warehouse rooftop between Bushwick and East Williamsburg, Edenworks‘s custom-designed aquaponic growing system (a.k.a. Farmlab) is able to grow lush greens in a compact, 800-square-foot space. In stark contrast to the concrete jungle found outside, the indoor roof space is filled with a lush garden installed atop a tiered structure that features tanks full of tilapia fish.
The man behind the operation, who is fittingly named Jason Green, started this innovative garden venture in 2013 when he entered a contest at NYU’s School of Engineering. Almost three years later and with $900,000 in funding, Green and his co-founders Matt La Rosa and Ben Silverman, along with a team of 13, are diligently working towards making his Farmlab dream become a reality. Although the innovation behind the Farmlab is quite complex, Green’s ultimate goal is simple: “to empower people to grow their own food.”
“We are trying to fix the food supply chain rather than change [consumer] behavior,” Green explains.
By combining the team’s technical, architectural, engineering, and even neuro-scientific knowledge, the operation is an amazingly full-cycle hydroponic food-growing system. At the bottom of the tiered stacks are tilapia-filled fish tanks, which provide the water and nutrients for the garden’s produce. As the water is carried up to the top of the stacks, it is filtered, breaking down bacteria into fertilizer and subsequently feeding the plants in the process. The beds then emit clean water that is pumped back into the fish tanks below, where the process begins again.
For now, the small Brooklyn space is helping the Edenworks team test out their custom aquaponic growing infrastructure. Soon, the farming system will be moving to a larger space in Long Island City, Queens.
Via Edible Brooklyn
Images via Edenworks