During our time in New York for Film Biz Recycling’s Eco-Expo, we were lucky enough to have met with a few inspiring green thinking film makers after the expo to see what they are doing to go sustainable. Meet sustainably minded Broadway Stages (“Flight of the Conchords“, and “The Good Shepard”) . Located on top of their Brooklyn soundstage location, is a 6,000 sq foot green roof on which an organic vegetable farm is growing: the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm . This roof top farm also boosts a title as the first-ever, year-round, fully operational organic rooftop garden in New York City! And, to top that, the roof houses nine chickens ( who move upstate for the winter) in their roof top koop…Sustainable trailblazing, indeed.
This project has generated a unique bridge and common space for both the media and sustainability sectors to co-exist. Though they do not manage the farm’s ongoings, Broadway Stages claims ownership, having provided the overhead costs necessary for the installation of the farm as well as it’s ongoing rent free space. And, it is clear that they do not shy away from highlighting the benefits of this project, on behalf of their social-corporate responsibility platform. Because of this they can proudly state that:
“Broadway Stages stands in support of its community, its neighbors and its businesses…it is committed to enhancing and remediating the communities in which its employees and neighbors live and work…. Urban regeneration is a practical approach to economic and neighborhood development by providing an infrastructure to support meaningful employment
and healthy living… Providing food for the community, improving the air, keeping buildings temperate and reducing stormwater run-off are just a few reasons that Broadway Stages has used rooftop farming as part of its approach to enhancing its facilities.”
But how does the farm sustain itself, and it’s activities financially?
Most steadily through donations ( Broadway Stages continues to donate the space), and public funding. More recently however, commercial interests in producing photoshoots and filmshoots at the stunning roof top location have come into fruition. Rumour has it that vogue just shot an editorial featuring Amber Heard there – it is easy to understand why, just look at the view…
Produce harvested from the garden is either sold at its onsite farmers market, or delivered via bike to local restaurants who purchase the food for their kitchen’s use. Farmers also take pride in the annual offering of popular house-made NYC hot sauces, having realized that a variety of chilli peppers are what grow best on “Broadway Stages” soil.
The urban farm is also able to offer farm-based education programs which are being taken full-advantage of by the neighborhood school children and broader community. These valuable educational offerings happen in part due to a partnership with established food educators “Growing Chefs”.
Volunteers also help to maintain and generate a lot of the roof programming, and are given small, end of season grants of appreciation. Fieldtrips offered to the volunteers also help to compliment a system of reciprocation as well as appreciation between the volunteers and the work they do for the larger roof top farm community.
To make all of these farm offerings more user-friendly to those interested, the roof is open to the public on Sundays between 1pm-4pm, during the growing season.
Fantastic work Broadway Stages, we love your green roof!