Thursday, February 28, 2013

The floating farm

Does this look like a likely site for a kitchen garden?

I met an interesting man last week. A man who wants to grow edible plants to include in on-board dinners enjoyed by his customers who cruise the waters around Manhattan as the lights start to shimmer in the dark skyline. He wants to start small, right upon the deck of his floating office space on the Hudson River. Boxes will be built, irrigation installed and plants planted.

But first I must deliver my proposed growing schedule. I think we'll start with herbs, because the space needed for crops to supply ingredients for 150 covers a night is larger than this first area can supply. That will all be explained. So far, it is has all been percolating in my head. If this small test patch is successful, it will expand to a wonderful, sunny expanse of elevated and unused walkway.

But what he wants, and this is what makes him special, and very unusual, in this city, is for his staff to be involved in the gardening, because "it will be good for them". Last year they practised on tomatoes in two small, repurposed life boats. He grew up on another island, far away, and his father farmed.

I really hope to be able to show an after picture, sometime in late summer. I am very excited.

As I sat in his carpeted office the building suddenly moved and I started. Earthquake! The executive chef and hospitality manager both eyed me. Then I remembered that we were afloat and that I didn't have to dive under the substantial desk for cover. Apparently some employees had to be moved to offices on dry land on account of sea sickness.

Vince and I have an invitation to dine on board, anytime, to cruise New York Harbor and see first hand what it is all about.

Have I mentioned that this is an interesting man?
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