No more excuses, New York—it’s time to eat your veggies. A massive new rooftop farm has opened in Queens, and the facility could produce up to 5 million heads of leafy greens every year.
According to a press release issued by Governor Cuomo’s office, local farming outfit Gotham Greens has opened its third New York City-based facility, this time atop the Ideal Toy Company factory complex in the Hollis section of Queens. Gotham Greens also operates rooftop farms in the Greenpoint and Gowanus neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
The new 60,000-square foot facility is a climate-controlled greenhouse that will employ automated technologies and ecologically sustainable methods to grow a range of vegetables, including lettuce, kale, bok choy, basil, and tomatoes.
The massive facility nearly triples the amount of local produce Gotham Greens can provide to New York Tri-State area consumers.
Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri said:
“Opening this new state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in the middle of winter underscores the innovative story of Gotham Greens. Never before have consumers in our marketplace been able to get locally grown produce this fresh at this time of year. After the recent record breaking blizzard, our freshly harvested produce was on supermarket shelves the very next day.”
Funding for the new rooftop farm was provided by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. According to the press release:
These funds helped pay for the installation of high-efficiency lighting, cooling and automated crop production systems. Energy efficiency is a major component of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers, as the State works to reduce energy use in buildings by 23 percent by 2030.
Gotham Greens facilities are 100% powered by renewable energy. Computer control systems ensure that climate control equipment operates efficiently, reducing heating demand and fossil fuel use. Combined with highly efficient production techniques, the farms are capable of producing 50% more crop than conventional greenhouses while using 25% less energy per pound of crop produced.
New York State Empire State Development is also providing Gotham Greens with up to $152,000, in Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits in exchange for Gotham Greens’ commitment to create and sustain a minimum of 46 full-time jobs through 2024. They are currently at 40 full time jobs and expect to exceed more than 50 in the next few months.
Photo credit: Robert Mecea via New York Daily News