Foraging on a Rooftop Farm
There is something magical about walking between rows of beets and cucumbers while looking across the East river at the Manhattan skyline. Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is one of my favorite places to visit, and it was a pleasure to spend the afternoon there teaching a workshop on edible weeds.
Urban farmer Annie Novak had her workers refrain from weeding for days in anticipation of my event. Even so, there weren’t very many weeds. That’s a problem I do not have in my garden, and I was able to bring samples of a dozen “volunteer” edible wild plants that are common in the city.
At the farm, we did find some amaranth, purslane, lamb’s quarters, and mugwort. I did a garlicky stir fry with the amaranth greens, and a salad with the purslane for everyone to sample.
The farm produces an impressive amount of food in just seven inches of soil. Along with their CSA, workshops, and providing produce to several restaurants, on Sundays they have a small market. The market is indoors where the temperature is cooler than under the blazing sun on the roof.
In addition to the rows of vegetables and herbs, there are also beehives maintained by Megan Paska, chickens, and rabbits.
All of this on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn!