Urban Agriculture Reformed: Gotham Greens’ Rooftop Greenhouse

The demand for locally grown food is increasing, but how can an industry meet this need? We see community gardens sprouting up across many neighborhoods of densely populated cities, but what about the masses? Gotham Greens has figured it out. Since its founding in 2008 as an urban greenhouse business and beginning production in 2011, it has become a global innovator in the urban agriculture industry, especially as one of New York State’s top suppliers of high-quality, pesticide-free vegetables and herbs.

The company opened its second of three greenhouses in New York City atop the Whole Foods Market in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Co-founder Viraj Puri explained how their operations worked to the Huffington Post:

“This facility uses the hydroponic technique, meaning plants receive nutrients from their water supply and are grown without soil — a technique well-suited to urban agriculture where arable land and high-quality soil are scarce… Since the crops are sloped at a gentle angle, all irrigation water is reused…It’s actually the most water-efficient form of agriculture in the world because we’re recycling all of our water… As droughts become a more consistent issue, especially in places where our food comes from, I think you’ll start to see more applications of this type of technology.”

As Americans are becoming more health-conscious, the demand for higher-quality foods is greater, which is why consumers are willing to pay more for better quality. For this reason Puri believes “urban agriculture will only get bigger, and will only complement and help our food system get more sustainable.”

Click to learn more about Gotham Greens and its initiatives.

From left to right: co-founders Viraj Puri and Eric Haley
with Chief Agriculture Officer Jennifer Nelkin Frymark.
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Don Eberly

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