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LH 131: A Farm On The Roof

Farming The Rooftops of New York City

We talk a lot all about working with the space you have to grow your garden. Whether that’s a backyard, a farmstead, or simply container gardening – where there is a will there is a way to a farm fresh lifestyle.

In this episode we talk about a very creative and inspiring use of space – right in the middle of New York City (and it’s not Central Park).

I’ve invited Anastasia Plakias, author of The Farm on the Roof, and one of the founding members of  Brooklyn Grange, to talk about an actual farm that is acres large on top of buildings in New York City.

She shares how this project is changing the way city folk think about agriculture and organic farming in a way that no one was expecting. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!

You will learn:

  •      Why build a farm on top of NYC Buildings
  •      How this farm produces over 50K pounds of veggies each year
  •      The challenges of building a 2 acre farm over the city
  •      The motivations behind the mission
  •      What turned out to be their biggest win in all this
  •      How they added rooftop chickens and bees to the project
  •      What they hope the community gains from their efforts

Anastasia Cole Plakias:

A native New Yorker, Anastasia Cole Plakias was born-and-raised in the West Village, where her experience gardening was limited to growing lima beans on her sixth floor apartment windowsill. AsFounding Partner and Vice President of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, the leading green roof farming business in the US, Anastasia has worn many hats over the years: she developed the farm’s Events program, ran the Sales department, and continues to manage its Communications and External Affairs, focusing on creating strong and meaningful connections between the farm and the communities it serves.

In April, 2016, she published The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us About Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business. She co-founded the farm’s sister non-profit organization, City Growers, and continues to serve as a Board Member. Her passion for educating others about food, farming, and entrepreneurship is outweighed only by her enthusiasm for obscure vegetable trivia. A published writer and photographer, neophyte bird nerd, and avid home cook, Anastasia is dedicated to making her native city a greener and more sustainable place to live.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Brooklyn GrangeThe Farm on the Roof at

Farm on the Roof* by Anastasia Plakias

Rooftop Farming PBS Episode – on GGWTV


5 Signs You’re Ready to Create An Online Course


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #131

*denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.