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Manhattan may be more urban than jungle, but that doesn’t stop New Yorkers from getting in touch with nature. One city farm in particular is changing the face and future of farming, all from within a nondescript building in Tribeca.
Even if you’ve never heard of Farm.One, you’ve likely come into contact with its produce. Michelin-starred chefs and many of New York City’s restaurants (including Daniel and Double Zero) source their produce from this grower of rare herbs, edible flowers, and micro-greens. Using high-tech systems to create unique growing conditions for rare and non-local greens with no pesticides or herbicides, this farm to the stars stands out for its fresh-cut and live produce.
But, this farm has no vast fields to speak of and hosts more outlets than animals. Farm.One’s Tribeca facility (a newer, larger iteration of the downtown Manhattan original) is located inside the basement of a building that also houses a vet, an eye-and-ear doctor, and a high-end restaurant. Its unusual location places the farm less than a 30-minute bike ride from a whopping 90 percent of New York City’s restaurants. This proximity comes in handy for local chefs, who can get their hands on over 200 culinary plant varieties within minutes after they’ve been harvested.
In addition to its location, Farm.One is changing the farming landscape in other ways. For example, by relying on LED lighting and hydroponics, the farm uses roughly 95% less water than its traditional counterparts. Moreover, Farm.One aims to build the world’s “widest selection of edible herbs and greens,” a feat its technology puts within the realm of possibility. That isn’t to say the farm is looking to leave its Manhattan digs, however. Farm.One assures locals it has “no desire to be the biggest farm,” but only to “stay the best and the closest,” which, in New York City, are basically one and the same.