Europe, and Scandinavia in particular, are often front-runners of sustainable innovation and environmental consciousness. However, Livia Urban Swart Haaland, one of the founders of the Copenhagen urban farm ØsterGRO, took inspiration from the world’s largest urban farm, Brooklyn Grange, in New York City.
After visiting Brooklyn Grange, Haaland returned to Denmark. In the spring of 2014, she launched an urban farm and community supported agriculture program (CSA) atop a former auction house for cars in Copenhagen’s Østerbro neighborhood. Kristian Skaarup and Sofie Brincker joined Haaland in the endeavor.
Excerpt: Westchester is among of the wealthiest counties in the country, but with 200,000 residents at risk of hunger, a food bank is seeking local produce.
by Rose Egelhoff
Urban Pastoral, a new rooftop farming company spearheaded by entrepreneur J.J. Reidy, is starting operations in Baltimore. The “first commercial scale hydroponic farm” in Baltimore will use media-based vertical growing systems to provide greens and culinary herbs to food service contractor Bon Appétit, as well as to participate in the Baltimore Food Hub.
After college, Reidy found his way into the world of Internet startups at LivingSocial. There, he says, “I began to think about building my dream.”
Reading about the emerging urban agriculture movement and thinking about his life-long passion for food and gardening, Reidy realized “that this was exactly what I wanted to do… instead of building Twitter and Facebook apps, solving problems that actually matter for our society.”
by Rose Egelhoff
Something’s growing atop D.C. restaurant Oyamel. Seedlings poke young leaves out of four inches of soil. The new green roof, which opened in May, is part of Up Top Acres, a network of rooftop farms.
Up Top Acres, founded by Kathleen O’Keefe, Kristof Grina and Jeffrey Prost-Greene, installs and farms green roofs around the city. They hope to partner with D.C. restaurants to offer fresh, local produce. At the same time, their green roofs provide energy savings and stormwater retention for the buildings where they are located, and the farms can be community centers for education and events.
by Hariette Halepis
When construction is completed later this summer on top of a two-story building in downtown St. Louis, Food Roof Farm will be the first of its kind in the city.
The project is being spearheaded by Mary Ostafi, a former architect with big dreams for this mid-sized city.
Ostafi is behind the city’s already bustling Urban Harvest, a sprawling downtown community garden space, and has spent the past year planning and creating the new rooftop farm space. Her work to connect city residents with their food has been inspired by other rooftop gardens throughout the world, and from a more personal source: her grandfather’s backyard Chicago garden that she often frequented as a child.