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Supermarket with rooftop greenhouse to sell über-local produce


April 4, 2013

Artist's impression of the begreenhoused Whole Foods supermarket coming to New York (Video grab: Dark Rye)

Artist's impression of the begreenhoused Whole Foods supermarket coming to New York (Video grab: Dark Rye)

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Whole Foods' next New York outlet looks set to become a supermarket with a difference. The supermarket chain will partner Gotham Greens to open a supermarket in Brooklyn sporting a 20,000 sq ft (1,860 sq m) rooftop greenhouse growing produce to be sold on the premises. "This project takes the discussion from food miles to food footsteps," said Gotham Greens Co-Founder, Viraj Puri.

Gotham Greens is already a specialist when it comes to rooftop greenhouses, opening its first facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 2011. There, a range of produce is grown using hydroponics in an enclosed environment, allowing for precise control of conditions such as temperature, light and humidity. Heating, cooling, irrigation and plant nutrition systems are controlled by computer.

Gotham Greens says that this minimizes risks such as disease and pests, and allows produce to be grown throughout the year. The Greenpoint farm has been supplying Whole Foods with produce since its opening.


Inside Gotham Greens' Greenpoint farm (Video grab: Dark Rye)

The new farm will be the USA's, if not the world's, first greenhouse integrated into a supermarket. It will be located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. It's claimed that the irrigation methods will use a twentieth of the water of conventional farming methods.

The greenhouse will be designed, built and operated by Gotham Greens with Whole Foods running the store beneath. It is set to open this New York fall.

A promotional video about the joint venture produced by Whole Foods' publication Dark Rye is below.

Source: Whole Foods, Gotham Greens via New York Business Journal

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Now we're talkin' - even food deserts and inner cities can work with this plan !

Jansen Estrup

Interesting! Do note that Farmers do not "Consume land" they use it and are custodians of it. Humans consume land with housing and buildings. The land then is very difficult to return to its natural state, ready for farming.

Perhaps the group would have been better served by installing an Aquaponics system. No fertilizers would be needed and ultimately the fish could be sold as well. Just a thought.


Looks like the roof is able to collect lots of rain water. Hopefully they won't have to use the Gowanus Canal for any irrigation needs.


…irony in it's most pithy state: building an organics garden on a SUPERFUND site!!! (the Gowanus Canal). in addition, WF founder's company - who doesnt believe in climate change (ahem, amend that: "… climate change can be a good thing") - wants to build on a site which in the next Superstorm (Sandy) could be under 20' of water. factory direct a novel concept none the less.

Phillip Bailey

Montreal, Qc has commercial rooftop farms as well. Look up Lufa Farms. Their produce is a little pricy, but very fresh and they also outsource to local farms.

Shelby Renaud

Wow, that feels to right! love it!

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