Monday, 27 July 2009

Rooftop Farms and a NEW new york

I have officially moved back to New York... and as you guys can see Charlotte is pit-stopping in Algeria before she passes through NY for a crazy visit with me. Nutty how different our worlds are right now!

Moving back has been kind of intense to be honest. I have been worried about falling back into old routines but (big fat BUT here) New York is feeling really new and fresh ever since I started volunteering at Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint with just about the coolest Brooklynites eva' and some great stragglers trekking in from Manhattan (me being one).

So in just a couple weeks I have met amazing people: the real farmers (Annie and Ben) and the volunteers (Kendra, Kate, Will, Spencer, Corey, Hannes, Erika, Margret, Alice and many more). Being up there on the farm and finally getting truly involved in the food movement feels freaking amazing. It feels like I have come home, like I have found my place.

Annie has let me help out with the Growing Chefs initiative she runs, which means I am teaching kids about our earth, getting them to stick their hands in the dirt and helping them understand where food comes from.... oh only if I could do this forever.

I have learned how to compost and I listen to everything Annie and Ben say about farming hoping that their crazy farming knowledge might rub off on me in an osmosis-like manner.

Volunteering at the farm has also led me to fall madly deeply in love with Greenpoint and north Willamsburg. Halfdan had been telling me to check GP out forever he said I would love. Oh how well he knows me. I think one of my favorite things is the constant sea of bikes floating about everywhere.

And OMG I met Cathy from Not Eating Out in New York on the roof this Sunday. I kind of sounded like an idiot but she was nice anyway. She is the reason I heard about the farm in the first place.

Rooftop Farms sells produce sold on Sundays as well as selling to restaurants like Eat Records and Marlow & Sons. But check out the market if you are in the neighborhood. 
Local, Organic, Grown with Love.

There is also a bees station on the roof, so hopefully honey will be available soon.

Us volunteer farmers grabbed some lettuce from the market for our rocking rooftop picnic, which we hope to make a weekly tradition.

Everyone made and baked amazing things. Will even made his own bread !

Kate, a fellow farmer, brought along this awesome purple cauliflower salad. I am still to get the exact recipe so I'll probably update this, but Kate said it is a simple recipe where the only major trick is marinating the veggies OVERNIGHT in a red wine vinegar/ extra virgin olive oil mixture.

July's Purple Cauliflower Marinade Salad

carrots (one, julienned)
head of purple cauliflower
chopped zucchini (one big one)
chopped parsley
red wine vinegar and e.v.o.o to taste
edible flowers to garnish (optional)

Toss it all together and let is marinate for at least 24 hours. That process softens the zucchini and the cauliflower a bit. Don't worry the veggies didn't get soggy though, they were just right!

After the picnic and farming Will, Spenc, Alice and I headed over to a free concert in the East River park in north Williamsburg.

(Alice being her cute self)

Being involved in Rooftop farms feels like I can read Michael Pollan's books and not get discouraged (well completely) because I know there is a massive movement rumbling right under us, which is fighting back against corporate American monopolies and helping us restore our food system. Check out some more sites if you are into food politics and buying locally:

The Edible Garden

And totally listen to this interview with Food Inc stars and food justice experts and activists.

bringing you information for the food revolution...



  1. Oh my goodness Rooftop farms looks fantastic and so much fun! I can't wait to come along and meet everyone and get my hands dirty. I think the bicycle photo is CRAZY! : ) Xx

  2. hey doesn't halfdan & the rooftop farm people run that bar/restaurant in brooklyn (and also the one in nolita) called Cafe Habana??
    That is where I was supposed to have a big meet-up of friends on my birthday cuz they have such a great outdoors space AND a special drinks machine that is powered by BIKE.... but, sad day, it POURED on my birthday so it didn't happen.
    I am jealous! YOu sound so happy and rooftop gardening sounds like so much fun. My bro here in DC is working a bit at a gardening store and he is teaching me some stuff and it is so cool.

  3. p.s. what is will's last name? He looks like a Will I know. That would be too funny.

  4. A rooftop garden in NewYork !! Fantastic ! Enjoy !

  5. Jacqui, I could not be happier for you reading this post! It seems like you have found something fantastic and perfectly in line with what you are completely passionate about!! What an incredible initiative and it seems like you have met so many like-minded so pleased for you! MISSING your lovely self xxxxx