Category Archives: Food & Farms

3 New York Restaurants that Grow Their Own Food

Riverpark Farm urban garden

Riverpark restaurant in New York grows its produce in milk crates.

One of my favorite parts of my internship with Sustainable America this summer was that I was encouraged to explore new ideas I was interested in. While I was researching the green roofing trend, I stumbled upon a rooftop farm in New York City called Brooklyn Grange and signed up for a tour. Learning about the farm inspired me to visit some restaurants that are growing their own food in the city. Here are a few interesting eateries I found.

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High-Rise Urban Farming

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The view from Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm that covers a 65,000-square-foot building in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Farming may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City, but some of its residents have solved the challenge of restricted space by utilizing the city’s most underused space: rooftops. A recent visit to Brooklyn Grange demonstrated how creative farmers today can produce local food no matter where they live.

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Introducing the New Shared Earth

Shared Earth, connects people who have land with people who want to garden or farm

The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Starting a Farmers Market

Starting a farmers market

All photos by Karyn Leito Photography

Two women started a farmers market in their neighborhood last year, and it’s a big hit with the community. Despite its success, this may be a make-or-break season for Black Rock Farmers Market. Find out why…

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New Dietary Guidelines: Cut Back on Meat to Help the Environment

Beef for sale at meat counter

Dietitians are urging Americans to eat less meat for the health of our bodies and the environment. Photo: Phil Denton via Flickr.

Last week brought big food news affecting everything on our dining room table, from eggs and coffee at breakfast to steaks at dinner. It came in the form of the latest recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for amounts of various foods that Americans should eat. Read Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz’s reaction to the news.

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An Investment in Organic Farmland

Chickens grazing on pasture at a Farmland LP farm

Chickens graze on a pasture at one of Farmland LP's farms.

A road trip to Oregon farmland crystalized a new business idea for partners Craig Wichner and Jason Bradford. “It was very clear farmland was a great asset and that it was basically being underutilized,” says Wichner, “that growing monocrops was operationally efficient, but it was the worst way to get returns from farmland itself.” With investment and the use of sustainable agriculture templates, they developed Farmland LP, a system of livestock, vegetable and grain rotations that could both reclaim land for organic farming and turn a profit.

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Free Aquaponics Workshop

On Dec. 3, 2014, we’re teaming up with FRESH Farm Aquaponics to host a free Introduction to Aquaponics Workshop at our office in Stamford, Conn. This two-hour class will explore how you can grow food organically, year-round, through a variety of highly productive aquaponic growing mediums.

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Eat Your “Unusual” Greens!

Turnip greens

Did you know you can eat turnip greens? Photo: Glory Foods via Flickr

One of my favorite things about participating in a CSA program is learning about new foods. This year’s most pleasant surprise was sweet potato greens. Our very own farmer didn’t realize these beautiful greens were edible until this year, and boy were we happy that he shared his newfound secret!

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Skin to Seed: How to Eat an Entire Pumpkin

three pumpkins

Photo: poppet with a camera via Flickr

Pumpkins. The plump, orange orbs are everywhere this time of year. While you’re picking out a few for Halloween decorations, it’s worth it to set aside a few for eating too. We’ve rounded up some recipes that will help you make use of everything but the stem, and we’ve found some ideas for what to do with the ones that get carved as well.

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Adventures in Indoor Growing

lettuce, basil and chives

A portion of our first harvest: lettuce, two varieties of basil and chives!

Over the last few months, we’ve been experimenting with a menagerie of indoor food-growing systems at our office: a vertical garden, a hydroponic system and an aquaponic system. While the versions we’ve installed won’t revolutionize the local food landscape in our neighborhood, if scaled up, these alternative growing methods have the potential to help urban areas meet the growing demand for food. We wanted to get hands-on with a few of these methods to learn more and to provide a showcase of what’s possible. Here’s how we did…

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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