Monday, May 17, 2010

Rooftop farm already shut down

From the NY Times:

It had been a week of furious dawn-to-dark activity building a farm high above an industrial stretch of Queens: directing traffic along Northern Boulevard, hoisting truckloads of growing mix up to the roof and raking it over drainage and protective material. Once the eight-inch layer of engineered soil stretched over the 40,000-square-foot space, the volunteers could begin planting the 9,000 seedlings awaiting their new home.

But all that came to a sudden halt on Friday afternoon, courtesy of the New York City Department of Buildings, which issued a stop-work order on the installation. According to department records, organizers of the project, an ambitious for-profit farm called Brooklyn Grange, had not secured permits and engineering plans showing the roof could handle nearly a million pounds of dirt, which will weigh even more when wet and rooted with vegetables.

“Our enthusiasm to get plants in for the season outpaced our paperwork, and we are doing everything we can with our architect and engineer to work this out,” Ben Flanner, the project’s farmer, said in a prepared statement. “In the meantime, we are complying fully with the stop-work order and anticipate filing the necessary paperwork on Tuesday morning. We are eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to resume installing.”

When that go-ahead will come is, like the suspended farm, up in the air. The building, at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, already had a stop-work order for interior work; now the notice affixed to the front door applies to the roof, too. A small handwritten note beneath it reads: “Sorry — no farm work today. See you soon!”

Officials from the Buildings Department need to determine what permits were required, if any, and if the building’s structure can support the soil and plantings, said Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the department. Engineers plan to visit as early as Monday.

Photo from the Brooklyn Grange


Lino said...

The question I have is; what will be the effect on the roof slab from being constantly damp and layered with organic material.

A neighbor over in BKK had a sort of garden similar to this on his concrete roof and it caused serious leaks and cracking after a few years.

Anonymous said...

Lino, did you miss the part where it said there's a system of "drainage and protective material?" Of course you did because you're too busy telling us about some made up friend of yours. You always seem to have a friend who had the same thing happen to them.

Anyhoo, if this farm had been Bloomturd's idea, you can bet permits would have been in place before the idea was out of his turdy little mouth.

Klink Cannoli said...

Personally, I'd be suspect of eating produce grown in that air quality.

The Engineer is coming Monday (today)? Sounds like a first onsite visit. This doesn't bode well for the excuse that the "paperwork" was behind the planting schedule.

Anonymous said...

This is a disaster waiting to happen. When there is a collapse, or near collapse, in a couple years, NYC Buildings will be blamed for that as well.

Lino said...

"Anonymous said...
Lino, did you miss the part where it said there's a system of "drainage and protective material?" Of course you did"

I didn't miss anything smartass, there isn't any way of preventing seepage and moisture penetration in this scenario.

As for rooftop gardening over in BKK, it is a common practice and if you look out over an area of several blocks you'll see a number of such sites, you will also see people with chickens and other birds being raised in backyeards and rooftop pens. A lot of country people have moved to Bangkok over the last 20 years and brought their practices with them, its bizarre and noisy if you live near some of these people.

Do a little traveling a-hole.

georgetheatheist said...

A chia pet in the sky.

Anonymous said...

Some posters ALREADY TOLD YOU SO ON QUEENS CRAP....that the roof might not be able to handle all that weight....BUT YOU WOULDN'T LISTEN!

So now you can enjoy your bitter fruit!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like our little "LINO" has enough water on his brain to supply his own Chia Pet head farm George! (LOL)!

Joe said...

Isn't that the old Ronzoni pasta factory built in the 1920's ?

Doubt it can support 1 million pounds (12 older redbird subway cars)
The TV and movie studios in Astoria cant even support that amount.
If that building fell it take the E & F out subway for years.

Anonymous said...

This is where the cost of implementing to grow green on any roof is prohibitive. Roofs typically are not load bearing unless they are designed or modified to hold HVAC equipment etc. the weight of the dirt coupled with water without drainage is the issue. So what might appear to be an admirable idea is not really feasible. However the city can impose new developments over 6 families to include a roof structure designed for this very purpose to encourage green roofs, especially if a tax deferment is imposed.

Anonymous said...

Do a little traveling a-hole.

There isn't enough money in the world to get me to travel to that cesspool called Bangcock. You sure do know a lot about it though, Lino. Visiting the ladyboys much?

Jolly Green Giant said...

Why the heck did these people do ALL this w/o the right paperwork?!

I can't believe it!

And common sense too tells you that the area will always be wet and HEAVY - what's wrong with these people. Can you imagine living directly UNDER this rooftop "FARM"? - It's a BREEDING ground for mold and mildew.


Anonymous said...

There is no roof built along this stretch of industrial buildings erected in the 30's or so along Northern Blvd. that can support this type of weight or dampness.

A novel idea though, but poorly executed.

Anonymous said...