Two restaurants in Chelsea are getting creative when it comes to growing fresh vegetables. As NY1’s Jon Weinstein reports, they're making the most their limited space.
Everyone's heard of the "farm to table" concept, but at Gallow Green and The Heath, they've got roof to table cuisine.
The produce comes from a rooftop garden only steps away from the restaurants and bar.
"Produce lots of squashes, lots of lettuces, lots of herbs, soon to be tons and tons and tons of tomatoes, 76 pounds a week,” said Executive Chef Ricky King.
The farm uses no soil, instead it’s an aeroponic garden. It's a system of enriched water fed from a tank to these towers, where the plants grow vertically. This allows for maximum production in a small space.
"Every 12 minutes the pump goes and for threee minutes the roots are drenched with a nutrient rich solution and they never dry out so they're able to grow without soil,” said Alison Layton, a bartender and farmer at The Heath and Gallow Green.
The restaurants are in the same building as the play "Sleep No More" at the McKittrick Hotel.
Executive Chef Ricky King oversees the farm and he says there's a real benefit to seeing your food go from the source to the plate.
"It's like having a baby. You get to see. It's something more special when you put it on the plate because you saw it go from seed to the plate,” said King.
They also grow herbs, which are used in all different sorts of drinks.
"All of our cocktails are herbally infused so we're able to grow parsley, sage, a couple of kinds of basil, dill,” said Layton.
There's also another major plus to growing your own veggies.
"The amount of money you save from buying vegetables from say the farmers market or from different purveyors,” said King.
Because it's been so successful so far and it is cost efficient, they're considering expanding the garden.
"Next year we'll be able to put in say 15 more towers and do things like okras and fennels, artichokes, things that might not produce as much but still be cool on the plate,” said King.
For the winter, King says they may build a greenhouse or just wait until spring comes.
But either way they say the farm is already paying off.