Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Greenhouse Grows in Brooklyn

50% of produce grown is discarded before it’s ever eaten. That’s $165 billion dollars worth of wasted food each year.

Today, Brooklyn-born Gotham Greens has set out to change that, making a tangible difference in the most unconventional – yet extraordinarily innovative – of ways. Since 2010, Gotham has been transforming unused urban rooftop space into blooming communities of pesticide-free produce. And this is just the beginning.

By tapping into the city’s most underutilized resource, Gotham Greens is revolutionizing the way we think about urban farming. To date, three New York rooftops are home to the nation’s most technologically sophisticated rooftop greenhouses.

Their flagship greenhouse sits atop a Greenpoint, Brooklyn Whole Foods, boasting over 15,000 square feet, and growing over 100 tons of leafy greens annually. The produce is harvested before breakfast, and is downstairs ready for purchase by lunch. “Farm-fresh” has officially taken on a new meaning.

Passionate growers with fervor for sustainable agriculture, the greens team purveys the freshest produce in the most viable way. Climate-controlled greenhouses allow for harvesting 365 days a year. And the kicker? Their produce never travels more than 7 miles. 

GreenBox users Two Boots and Emily Pizza are taking advantage of this remarkable resource, adorning their pizzas with Gotham’s basil, arugula, and “rooftop reds” (their juicy medley of cherry, grape and cocktail tomatoes).

Gotham sums up their philosophy in the most perfect way: “We see green fields where others see rooftops. Most of all, we know that the crunch of fresh, local sustainably grown food, sets off a chain reaction of good things in the world.”

The mission behind Gotham Greens is so close to our hearts, in fact, that we’ve practically forgotten that they beat us out for the top spot in the 2009 Green Business Competition (we took second place!). It was a well-deserved win ☺. 

Like all of the best ideas, Gotham Greens was born in the Big Apple. And while we’re just waiting on the day when all of the nation’s cities catch up, we will revel in the fact that the basil on our pie was harvested this afternoon, and New Yorkers are the only ones who can say so. 

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