A new development in Long Island City has an unusual amenity for residents - a rooftop farm. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
The view can't be beat. What's growing, you want to eat. It's a rooftop farm 13 stories above Long Island City.
"We're looking at something a little bit cliche, but planting a seed in the community so to speak and this garden is a great way to do that," said said Frank Monterisi, Senior Vice President at Related Companies.
It's on a terrace of the Hunters Point South Commons, one of two affordable housing buildings built by the Related Companies.
Such rooftop farms have been sprouting up across the city, and this one is a like a living produce aisle featuring strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and beans. GrowNYC helped to develop it.
"We provided them with a design that said here are the crops you can plant in these 13 beds. It's about 660 square feet," said Gerard Lordahl, Director of Gardening at GrowNYC.
It's also envisioned as a community garden for residents, who have started to move into the development.
"We will steward them the first couple of years. We are going to do monthly workshops. We are going to show them how to manage the garden and what things they need to do each month. And they will eventually take over the reigns of the garden and manage it themselves," Lordahl noted.
The rooftop farm isn't also about fruits and vegetables, but the sweet stuff like honey and bees.
Grow NYC Beekeeper Lenny Librizzi introduced me to the hive, which will provide honey for folks in the buildings. He suspects around 20,000 bees call the rooftop home, and that they might even provide some health benefits.
"A lot of people believe that the honey that's local has a lot of pollen with it. So it will help with allergies. So you are sort of inoculating yourself against the pollen that's causing your allergies," Librizzi said.
The bees also help the farm and garden by pollinating the crops, which are irrigated by rainwater collected on the roof. The hope is this will bring residents together.
"Once we get it up and running, this is going to be a place where all the families across these two buildings can come and do something cool," Monterisi said.