Food Stories

Urban Farming: Brooklyn Grange Documentary

By Joseph Hernandez | September 25, 2012

Still from Brooklyn Grange: A Portrait of Urban Farming

The Brooklyn Grange, located in Queens, New York has long been known as the largest soil rooftop farm in the world. Serving as a CSA and providing produce to restaurants throughout the city, the farm is a roaring success after just two years. However back in May, the bustling urban farm continued its plans for expansion by signing a 20 year lease on a 65,000-square-foot rooftop at the once defunct Brooklyn Navy Yards. The space was barren. Although the team behind Brooklyn Grange was experienced in sustaining a productive urban farm, their new challenge was to grow their business as the growing season came upon them. At least, that’s the narrative arc of a documentary following the successes and learned-lessons of the five-member team of the Brooklyn Grange.

In Brooklyn Grange: A Portrait of Urban Farming, director Michael Tyburski and producers Ben Nabors and Burke Cherrie sought to document the creation and evolution of an urban farm changing the way a major city addresses food production and locality. As a business, Brooklyn Grange had to grow, but as an example in the urban farm conversation, it had to thrive. The film, which is currently in production and shooting for an end of year release, is gorgeously shot, and the available featurettes showcase not only the core team of Brooklyn Grange (including head farmer Ben Flanner) but also its corps of interns, volunteers and contributors who make up the brute workforce for the incredibly successful experiment. As production of the film continued, the Navy Yards farm was not only greenroofed and planted but it also acquired a chicken coop and an apiary, increasing Brooklyn Grange’s production to much more than just rooftop vegetables.

If you’re looking to be inspired by what human engineering can do to respond to growing demand for locally sourced food, look no further and be sure to check out the documentary when it launches later this year.

(via Cool Hunting)

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