The poet Mary Oliver once wrote of “the patience of vegetables and saints.” Yesterday, above the endless activity that is New York, I caught a peek at this patience. It’s there, in a squash blossom, under the vines and care of Ben Flanner. This little flower is one of the many saintly jewels growing at the Brooklyn Grange, an 18,000 square foot rooftop farm located in Queens. (Our guess is right: the name came before the location.)
It is pure inspiration to walk a rooftop farm. As we look to use our urban space better, as well as shorten the travel distance for our food, I hope the these farms become commonplace. I also hope that we’ll always keep the feeling of awe that they spark. The contrast of green leaves fluttering against a backdrop of skyscrapers is striking and lovely all at once.
You may remember Ben from a story last summer about his initial rooftop farm project in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I got curious to see his latest effort — a farm three times the size as last year! — so I stopped by the market at Brooklyn Grange. It’s open every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon in the lobby of the building, among other times and places.
The market trip reminded me of another quote, often said by a friend of mine: “May you live in interesting times.” Indeed. How wonderful that a trip to pick up tomatoes and Swiss chard included these images: