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  • 06.28.11

Gotham Greens: Brooklyn’s New High-Tech Rooftop Farm

Using hydroponics and climate control technology, the farm is serving up hundreds of pounds of super local lettuce to the city’s markets on the same day it’s harvested.

Gotham Greens

In a custom built 15,000-square-foot greenhouse in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint
neighborhood, Gotham Greens is currently growing five kinds of lettuce,
and supplying the leafy goodness to New York’s Whole Foods, Fresh Direct, along with
Mario Batali’s Eataly and other stores. “We harvest in the morning and it’s in the store in the afternoon, says Viraj Puri, cofounder and CEO. “Literally, they get it the same day. And we can do that
year-round.”

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Because of
their state-of-the-art climate control system and hydroponic growing
methods, Gotham Greens will still be providing that lettuce to Whole
Foods in the middle of winter. It’s hard to get local lettuce
(especially lettuce so local it was grown less than 10 miles away) in a
New York winter. Now you can. “It’s on a pretty sophisticated computer control system that has sensors all over the place,” Puri says, “and will deploy lights and fans and shades curtains and heat blankets and irrigation pumps automatically.”

We profiled the company when it announced its launch, as well as some of its tech, and now that the farm–which has the usual bevy of sustainable innovations like a solar array and captured rainwater–is up and running, it will be producing about 550 pounds a day (that’s 100 tons a year) of greens for the city. And while the initial focus is on greens, plans for a second farm with a focus on vine vegetables like tomatoes are in the works.

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About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Ideas section, formerly FastCoExist.com.

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