Supermarkets With Organic Rooftop Gardens

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Above: Whole foods greenhouse on rooftop of Gowanus Brooklyn, NY store. All images courtesy of Whole Foods

Opening this month in Brooklyn, NY:  Gowanus market selling food from it’s huge organic rooftop garden

Whole Foods has announced that it will be opening its long-awaited Gowanus store on December 17th this year. In addition to putting the usual organic and artisan products on it shelves, the new location at 214 3rd Street will bring the local food trend to new heights with a 20,000 square foot rooftop farm right on top of the building. It doesn’t get more local than that!

The rooftop farm was made possible thanks to a partnership with Gotham Greens, a Greenpoint-based rooftop farm. The two organizations are calling the endeavor the first commercial-scale greenhouse farm and say that it will help reduce the carbon emissions spent on transporting food from far away sources. The elevated greenhouse will grow high-quality, pesticide-free produce all year round to be sold at the bustling supermarket below.

Whole foods with roof top garden in Brooklyn, NY

Other attractions at the grocery store will include a bar with 16 different types of beer on tap. The store will also have its own ramen shop headed up by ramen master Yuji Hariguchi for eat-in and take-out options. It opens a little too late for Thanksgiving, but people in the Gowanus area will have a tasty and green treat to look forward to just a month later.

Whole foods greenhouse and solar on rooftop in Brooklyn, NY store
  • little gramma

    How will they heat/cool these greenhouses? What will they grow, MORE LETTUCE? Who will actually be able to take advantage of this store, The wealthy? Important questions I want to know.

  • Kathy Schnapper

    Gowanus is not a wealthy neighborhood, and it does not have many fresh food markets or supermarkets, so it should be a real asset to local residents. I plan to shop there, using public transportation,

  • Kristin Beasley, PhD

    I am with little gramma. Ask questions, dig deep, know your farmer.

  • Peter Burkard

    You have a carbon footprint from heating and cooling that deserves comparison to that from shipping from California, or upstate NY farms in summer. I would expect that the shipping footprint would be worse for the environment, except for the shorter distances. Would make for an interesting study.

  • Željko Serdar

    Every supermarket should do this. 😉

  • KB

    I agree with you 100% about the carbon footprint potentially being reduced in that neighborhood but did you get the impression that they are only going to grow food for that store or area? Do you really think that Whole Foods is doing this for just this one store? Query…….In this low income area? Query…….. where will all the extra food grown go? Query……. The neighborhood can’t afford Whole Foods produce or the Brewery being built in that building. So who will buy this produce? Will wealthier people have to drive in to shop? Query….. Does that impact the carbon foot print? Query……. That rooftop can only grow certain products, where do you think the excess will go? I dont know but I hope to the people in that low income neighborhood. Query…..Does Whole Foods ask farmers about their carbon or human footprint? If so have you validated that information? I am pretty sure they don’t.
    The Gotham Farms website says they are going international, which is fine….but be careful about drinking the kool-aid and the impact of the new language used to make exploitation swallowable. I believe deep in my soul that we have a responsibility to be transparent, innovative, honest & fair. If you want the truth you have to willing to hear the answers. I dig the Gotham Farms mission and think their “collaboration” with whole foods is awesome, but, the bottom line is money. Let’s be honest. I suggest everyone who cares about humanity and the carbon footprint do their homework. I wish Gotham Farms nothing but success. Whole Foods in California won’t buy fresh organic food from small farmers just 20 miles for their local stores and this makes me wonder why this collaboration in New York is different. QUERY…..These rooftop farms are awesome (not legal in breadbasket of the world….California). I just think people should know their farmers. This project is not about the carbon footprint for this national food chain, it’s about money. I say Go GOTHAM Farms and watch your back.

  • Peter Burkard

    Hi KB,
    Yes, all your points merit checking out, insofar as possible. I neglected to mention before that I’ve been an organic market gardener and environmentalist for 40 years, so have plenty of direct contact with these issues. I think WF is run by people who are focused, yes, on making money, as they must be, but also do care about their greater impact on society and the environment. At least, care far more than the average corporate chieftains, though they will never be perfect.

    Rooftop growing right above the main outlet seems like a step in the right direction overall and can always be improved upon if those who run it so desire. As far as the bigger picture for humanity and the biosphere, I strongly believe that reducing human numbers is the most important thing that must be addressed in the immediate future or it does not look pretty.

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