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Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.
UIG via Getty Images

New York City’s best urban farms

From Bushwick to the Bronx, these 17 urban farms provide fresh food and green space for their communities

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Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.
| UIG via Getty Images

When most people think of urban farming in New York City, they picture a bearded Brooklynite picking kale from atop a warehouse while drinking a home-brewed beer. And while that person does exist, there are a lot of other farms in this city that don’t fit the stereotype.

From a 19-year-old garden in East New York to a cooperative farm on a formerly vacant South Bronx lot, every borough plays host to at least one urban farm, and we’ve mapped 17 of the most notable ones here.

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GrowNYC Teaching Garden

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Governors Island has partnered with GrowNYC on this 21,000-square-foot urban garden, which is filled with vegetable beds made from recycled materials. The garden is open for visitors to check out on weekends, and hosts occasional workshops and events.

Iwan Baan/Courtesy West8

The Battery Urban Farm

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At the tip of Manhattan, one acre in the 25-acre Battery Park is dedicated to growing more than 100 types of vegetables. All of the food is harvest by NYC students, and donated to school cafeterias and food pantries, and resident turkey Zelda keeps everyone in line.

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Riverpark

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Many restaurants in New York City get their produce from the local Greenmarkets, but few grow it themselves. Riverpark, however, does. Located in the Alexandria Center, the farm uses 7,000 milk crates as grow beds. The farm provides food to Riverpark from spring until fall and grows more than 100 types of vegetables.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Harlem Grown

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This urban farm, founded in 2011, aims to educate Harlem’s kids about agriculture, and does so through a variety of programs—there are volunteer opportunities, internships, and a summer camp. The farm has two locations: one on West 127th Street, and one on West 134th Street.

La Finca del Sur Community Garden

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A group of Latina and black women living in the South Bronx banded together to turn an empty, abandoned lot on 138th Street into a farm in late 2009, and La Finca del Sur was born. The farming cooperative is an official nonprofit, and in 2014, the farm—where owners grow vegetables for personal use—helped launch the South Bronx Farmers Market.

Randall's Island Urban Farm

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On Randall’s Island in the middle of the East River, 40,000 square feet of land hosts hundreds of plants in 80 raised beds. The farm, which has a great view of the Hell Gate Bridge, is maintained by GrowNYC and the Randall’s Island Park Alliance.

Brooklyn Grange, Long Island City

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Brooklyn Grange’s flagship farm is not located, as one would assume, in Brooklyn. It sits on top of a 1919 Long Island City warehouse, and at 43,000 square feet, it’s one of the city’s largest rooftop farms. This commercial organic farm opened in 2010 and grows tens of thousands of pounds of produce every year, but it also hosts events, like tours and yoga classes.

Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

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Before building behemoth farms, Brooklyn Grange founder Ben Flanner co-founded the Eagle Street farm, the first rooftop soil farm in New York City. Today, his co-founder Annie Novak still runs the 6,000-square-foot farm, which is located atop a Greenpoint warehouse owned by Broadway Stages. The farm sells its produce at an on-site market, and delivers to local restaurants.

North Brooklyn Farms

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North Brooklyn Farms was previously located on the Domino Refinery development site, but moved to a more permanent space on Kent Avenue and South 4th Street once construction on that megaproject began. The farm hosts community dinners, educational programs, and sells the produce at a farm stand.

Oko Farms

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Located in Bushwick, Oko Farms is an aquaponic farm, meaning that in addition to fruits and vegetables, its owners also cultivate freshwater fish. (Curious about how this works? They host workshops on aquaponics.) Oko recently partnered with Dabar Development Partners and Thorobird Real Estate, in partnership with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to bring fresh food and urban farms to a low-income housing project that’s in the works in Bed-Stuy.

Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn Navy Yard

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Two years after opening its first farm, Brooklyn Grange more than doubled its growing power by expanding with a 65,000-square-foot farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, moving the title of the world’s largest rooftop farm from Queens to Brooklyn. Together, the two farms produce tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables every year.

Phoenix Community Garden

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Many community gardens dedicate space for produce, but the Phoenix Garden in Brownsville fills its entire 20,000-square-foot plot with edible plants. There’s a grape arbor, a large gazebo, and a rainwater harvesting system, and the garden produces about 2,000 pounds of vegetables every season. A portion of the output goes to a local soup kitchen across the street.

East New York Farms

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East New York was one of the first neighborhoods in New York City to experiment with urban farming. The first seed for the idea was planted in 1995, and three years later, the first actual seed was planted in the ground. Today, the community-run farm provides produce to 17,000 people each year.

The Youth Farm

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A one-acre youth farm run by the High School for Public Service grows vegetables and flowers for the community while teaching students about agriculture and food justice.

Whole Foods Market

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Gotham Greens runs the 20,000-square-foot garden atop the Gowanus Whole Foods, in which they grow 200 tons of organic, non-GMO produce with hydroponic techniques. Much of the produce is sold right downstairs in the supermarket.

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Red Hook Farms

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Formerly known as Added Value, this community farm in Red Hook is one of New York City’s older urban farms. It started in 2001, and every year, the 2.5-acre plot produces enough vegetables for a neighborhood CSA.

Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park

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Brooklyn Grange’s third location is also its largest; in fact, it’s the largest rooftop farm in the city, spanning some 140,000 square feet. The farm has a greenhouse as well as a climate-controlled indoor space where events can be held. The public can visit on open houses every Sunday through October.

Snug Harbor Heritage Farm

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A century ago, the area where Snug Harbor, Staten Island’s Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, sits was farmland, and the center pays homage to that history with a farm of their own. All of the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that the farm grows are sold at the Snug Harbor Farm Stand.

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GrowNYC Teaching Garden

Iwan Baan/Courtesy West8

Governors Island has partnered with GrowNYC on this 21,000-square-foot urban garden, which is filled with vegetable beds made from recycled materials. The garden is open for visitors to check out on weekends, and hosts occasional workshops and events.

Iwan Baan/Courtesy West8

The Battery Urban Farm

Shutterstock

At the tip of Manhattan, one acre in the 25-acre Battery Park is dedicated to growing more than 100 types of vegetables. All of the food is harvest by NYC students, and donated to school cafeterias and food pantries, and resident turkey Zelda keeps everyone in line.

Shutterstock

Riverpark

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Many restaurants in New York City get their produce from the local Greenmarkets, but few grow it themselves. Riverpark, however, does. Located in the Alexandria Center, the farm uses 7,000 milk crates as grow beds. The farm provides food to Riverpark from spring until fall and grows more than 100 types of vegetables.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Harlem Grown

This urban farm, founded in 2011, aims to educate Harlem’s kids about agriculture, and does so through a variety of programs—there are volunteer opportunities, internships, and a summer camp. The farm has two locations: one on West 127th Street, and one on West 134th Street.

La Finca del Sur Community Garden

A group of Latina and black women living in the South Bronx banded together to turn an empty, abandoned lot on 138th Street into a farm in late 2009, and La Finca del Sur was born. The farming cooperative is an official nonprofit, and in 2014, the farm—where owners grow vegetables for personal use—helped launch the South Bronx Farmers Market.

Randall's Island Urban Farm

On Randall’s Island in the middle of the East River, 40,000 square feet of land hosts hundreds of plants in 80 raised beds. The farm, which has a great view of the Hell Gate Bridge, is maintained by GrowNYC and the Randall’s Island Park Alliance.

Brooklyn Grange, Long Island City

Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Brooklyn Grange’s flagship farm is not located, as one would assume, in Brooklyn. It sits on top of a 1919 Long Island City warehouse, and at 43,000 square feet, it’s one of the city’s largest rooftop farms. This commercial organic farm opened in 2010 and grows tens of thousands of pounds of produce every year, but it also hosts events, like tours and yoga classes.

Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

Before building behemoth farms, Brooklyn Grange founder Ben Flanner co-founded the Eagle Street farm, the first rooftop soil farm in New York City. Today, his co-founder Annie Novak still runs the 6,000-square-foot farm, which is located atop a Greenpoint warehouse owned by Broadway Stages. The farm sells its produce at an on-site market, and delivers to local restaurants.

North Brooklyn Farms

North Brooklyn Farms was previously located on the Domino Refinery development site, but moved to a more permanent space on Kent Avenue and South 4th Street once construction on that megaproject began. The farm hosts community dinners, educational programs, and sells the produce at a farm stand.

Oko Farms

Located in Bushwick, Oko Farms is an aquaponic farm, meaning that in addition to fruits and vegetables, its owners also cultivate freshwater fish. (Curious about how this works? They host workshops on aquaponics.) Oko recently partnered with Dabar Development Partners and Thorobird Real Estate, in partnership with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to bring fresh food and urban farms to a low-income housing project that’s in the works in Bed-Stuy.

Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn Navy Yard

Two years after opening its first farm, Brooklyn Grange more than doubled its growing power by expanding with a 65,000-square-foot farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, moving the title of the world’s largest rooftop farm from Queens to Brooklyn. Together, the two farms produce tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables every year.

Phoenix Community Garden

Many community gardens dedicate space for produce, but the Phoenix Garden in Brownsville fills its entire 20,000-square-foot plot with edible plants. There’s a grape arbor, a large gazebo, and a rainwater harvesting system, and the garden produces about 2,000 pounds of vegetables every season. A portion of the output goes to a local soup kitchen across the street.

East New York Farms

East New York was one of the first neighborhoods in New York City to experiment with urban farming. The first seed for the idea was planted in 1995, and three years later, the first actual seed was planted in the ground. Today, the community-run farm provides produce to 17,000 people each year.

The Youth Farm

A one-acre youth farm run by the High School for Public Service grows vegetables and flowers for the community while teaching students about agriculture and food justice.

Whole Foods Market

Shutterstock

Gotham Greens runs the 20,000-square-foot garden atop the Gowanus Whole Foods, in which they grow 200 tons of organic, non-GMO produce with hydroponic techniques. Much of the produce is sold right downstairs in the supermarket.

Shutterstock

Red Hook Farms

Formerly known as Added Value, this community farm in Red Hook is one of New York City’s older urban farms. It started in 2001, and every year, the 2.5-acre plot produces enough vegetables for a neighborhood CSA.

Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park

Brooklyn Grange’s third location is also its largest; in fact, it’s the largest rooftop farm in the city, spanning some 140,000 square feet. The farm has a greenhouse as well as a climate-controlled indoor space where events can be held. The public can visit on open houses every Sunday through October.

Snug Harbor Heritage Farm

A century ago, the area where Snug Harbor, Staten Island’s Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, sits was farmland, and the center pays homage to that history with a farm of their own. All of the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that the farm grows are sold at the Snug Harbor Farm Stand.