Saturday, June 19, 2010

Brooklyn roof farm

We have been threatened with eviction. We knew it was coming, but have been dragging our tootsies.

We thought that perhaps, because we have a terrace, a fig (with fig numbers and prize winner to be announced on Monday), blueberries, strawberries, herbs and flowers, and that we blog about it extensively we'd be let off the hook. Self-promotion is another Brooklyn residency requisite, and we are fulfilling that side of the bargain. But no. Since this is Brooklyn, after all, and earnest, pretty gardens do not count.

You have to be Serious.

You have to have a Roof Farm.

Also, it is preferred that you know nothing at all about farming or plants (or chickens). And one of you has to grow a beard.

We draw the line at beards. You have seen Vince's haircut, have you not. He doesn't do hair. I have the hair and I've tried a beard but it comes in spottily.

The cat has to do the beard-growing.


We received the pink slip. We are rectifying the situation. It was leave this Borough - the hippest the coolest the most creative the most innovative the most dedicated to urban rural living the most conscious of its flagbearing status embodying all that you want to be but can't be because you don't live in Brooklyn...or start a farm. The alternatives were growing your own hops and brewing your own beer, distilling moonshine, raising chickens or hogs on the roof and turning them into artisinal pots of pâté, or starting an oyster hatchery in the Gowanus.

A farm seemed reasonable.

So I am moving four Mexican heirloom tomato plants to the roof. Yes, the silvertop, waterless, heatbaked roof. This is why I need boxwood balls. If it's easy, or makes sense, it does not count.

I bought the plastic pots ( I had to take a pill before this purchase. I have never owned plastic pots in my life). I bought the tepees. I have the tomatoes. I get so many points for these. Not only did I source them locally, avoiding big box stores and gas mileage and carbon footprints, I sourced them from the floor of the terrace...and now they are big, with flowers and teeny little fruit already beginning. The plastic pots are white, to add to un-aesthetica. To reflect some of the heat, hopefully.

And when the tomatoes are ripe, I will sell them.

Yes sirree. You can't just have a roof farm. You have to sell your produce. To restaurants. At the Brooklyn Flea. But me, I will sell them on the sidewalk outside the brownstone. If my West Indian nurse, stroller pushing Cobble Hill mamma, iPhoning pappa want to know where the tomatoes come from, I will point Up. And I will sell basil, which I plan on growing too.

It will of course be the end of summer when I do this so everyone will be sick of basil and of tomatoes.

But it's farm and sell, or leave the Borough.


  1. A farm? Wow I have the feeling your roof farm in Brooklin is going to be quite the place to blog about...

    Looks like a lot of work though, very wise to let Estorbo in charge of the beard growing business ;-)

  2. I will buy your tomatoes and basil. Fer sure.

  3. There's a Cole Porter song called "Farming", do you know it?

    "Farming, that's the fashion
    Farming, that's the passion
    Of our great celebrities of today."

    Let's re-write it and perform it in defiance of your landlord. And if you need any more pots I have several large (if not beautiful) plastic and fiberglass pots here in PA which I'd be happy to contribute to the cause.

  4. Good luck with your new venture! I look forward to reading and seeing pics on your blogsite

  5. I think your landlord is brooklyn fashion
    And ye farm lest ye be evicted from Brooklyn.

    Your humor is spot on. Let the race be on to sell hyper local tomatoes. Though some will think you mean GOD when you point up. Whuteva sells da tamaduz.

    I got a letter from the Dept of the Interior yesterday.

    They want me to be a federal farmer.

  6. Anyes - Estorbo is already complaniing that he has the heaviest burden to shoulder. With him it's always drama.

    Knithound - CSA? 3 members?

    Ellen - yes! :-)We can sing it a la Doris Day, in dungarees.

    Lyn - thank's all a bit silly.

    Frank - maybe God is LOCAL? Federal farmer - that means you get money to plant a monoculture, right?

  7. I must be behind in my blog reading...I don't understand why you have been told you might be evicted...unless you have a farm. Is Brooklyn falling in the river?


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