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Rooftop farming booming in New York

Urban farming is a growth industry in New York city’s concrete jungle and with little open land free, agriculturalists and beekeepers have taken to the rooftops to pursue their passion.

Andrew Cote uses the emergency fire ladder to climb up to the roof of his East Village building, where he tends to 250 bee hives.

Cote, a professor of Japanese literature doubles up as president of the New York City Beekeepers Association, and is happy the city authorised beekeeping in mid-March after an 11-year ban.

‘The city wants to plant one million trees, and the trees need to be pollinated,’ Cote told AFP.

On the other side of Manhattan, in the posh Upper East Side, Eli Zabar, owner of the upscale ‘Vinegar Factory’ delicatessen, inspects the crops he is growing on the roof of the old factory bought in 1991.

‘I began the green houses 15 years ago,’ Zabar told AFP.

‘I grow heirloom tomatoes, lots of different kinds of lettuce, herbs, basil, rosemary, thyme, raspberries, figs, beets.

‘We use the heat of the bakeries and pastries, we recycle the heat. With the use of the heat we have eliminated our (carbon) footprint.

‘You harvest in the morning, you sell in the afternoon, you don’t refrigerate, it tastes better…We pick everything ripe and ready to eat. All our products here are organic.’

Read full article at Big Pond News