Roof to Table – New York restaurant grows its food on the 6th floor
Bell Book and Candle, 6th floor on 10th St.
Must-see ABC News video above (Mike).
Zero-mile dining – Produce that goes straight from sky to table
By Wency Leung
Globe and Mail
Sept. 14, 2010
At a time when “local” and “sustainable” are the buzzwords of nearly every restaurant and kitchen, urban rooftop gardens have become widespread. But the New York chef is soon opening the first restaurant in the U.S. to grow its own herbs, fruits and vegetables with an up-on-the-roof hydroponic farm.
Six floors above the Bell Book & Candle restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, slated to open within four weeks, Mr. Mooney is growing mint, lettuce, strawberries, squash and about 70 other varieties of herbs, fruit and vegetables in vertical, soil-less towers. A water filtration system, which is set on a timer, bathes the towers for three minutes, every 12 minutes.
Mr. Mooney expects to grow enough food there to supply 60 to 80 per cent of the produce his restaurant uses for 10 months of the year.
As he explains to The Globe and Mail, it’s a method that he believes could change the way the rest of us acquire our food as well.
Why have you taken on this endeavour?
For one, space is at a premium in New York. To farm enough land to produce enough vegetables for our restaurant is literally impossible, but also definitely impossible when it comes to cost-effectiveness.
So the benefit of our hydroponic tower farm is we can grow vertically, just like a city managing people. Our vegetables use air space as opposed to surface area.