One can still find farms in a city as urban as New York when one only happens to look up. Brooklyn Grange grows organically-cultivated produce on two urban rooftop farms. They are considered the largest in the US and their flagship farm, located on top of a sprawling white building a half block from the subway in Long Island City, is one acre. It also holds a chicken coop, a beehive for making honey and on Saturdays, a farm stand. It is open from 10 am to 3 pm and one can buy freshly picked vegetables, newly laid eggs and local honey. The farmers will allow you to pick your own veggies if one catches your fancy and is not available on the stand.
Brunch from Farm-to-Table in Queens
I never thought to find lush greenery awaiting me as I stepped out of the elevator. What I saw blew my mind. Rows upon rows of tidily tended vegetable gardens circled a huge communal wooden table laid out with plates and utensils. On one side of the table, a group of chefs from Manhattan Agriculture dedicated to sustainable cooking were busily making our meal. Surrounded by herb-scented fresh air and with the warm sun shining upon me, I ordered the chef’s tasting of just picked produce while I helped myself with iced oolong tea.
After a couple of minutes, I was served my first course of grilled rooftop vegetables consisting of shishito and aji dulce peppers. The second course was re-imagined vegetable sushi made with quinoa, brown rice, pickled beets and spring onions. It was followed by a course of soba noodles. Instead of buckwheat, the chef’s version utilized quinoa and beets to make the noodles. The duo of cold noodles was served with freshly picked poached egg and garnished with tomatoes, scallions and chives. The last course was for the meat lovers. A trio of chicken yakitori consisting of a wing, a leg and a tail was served with home made hot sauce. All of these innovative dishes looked whimsical, smelled divine and tasted natural.
Written by Faith Azul-Evia. Faith is an avid flashpacker (a slightly older version of a backpacker with a bigger budget but still wants to avoid a packaged version of a destination) and believes that her travels start as soon as she leaves her NY apartment building. She is in constant search of new places to explore, eat, drink, sleep, spa, run, hike and yoga. She has been to 38 countries in 6 continents and dreams of going to Antarctica someday. Follow her @faithflashpacks on Instagram.