Friday, October 23, 2009

NY Times on Urban Farming

The New York Times ran a story today that adds nutrients to the solution of urban renewal and sustainable food out of which a Vertical Farm will one day sprout. In another of the long line of press that urban agriculture in general, and Vertical Farms in particular, has received, this piece highlights someone new to the Vertical Farm Blog, but someone seasoned in the hydroponics world, Jennifer Nelkin, and her company, Gotham Greens.

Ms. Nelkin has a Master's degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Arizona, where she honed her hydroponic skills in the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) while working with CEA all-stars Merle Jensen and Gene Giacomelli. Ms. Nelkin was also part of a team that grew plants on the South Pole, feeding a team of researchers. When it comes to CEA know-how, this lady is ripe and ready.

Gotham Greens is building a 10,000 square foot (1/4 of an acre) rooftop greenhouse above a church on Archer Avenue in Queens, which, once completed, will be the largest urban hydroponic operation in the world. With a (small) $1.4 million budget, and with (big) goals like creating green jobs and growing litigious amounts of local food, Gotham Greens helps us see what our cities could look like as more of this kind of farming is implemented.

The bigger vision is, of course, Vertical Farms. Maybe the leap is too far today, but Jenn Nelkin and other urban farmers like her are the bridge that will carry us to sustainable urban food production tomorrow.

1 comment:

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