If you can’t beat it, farm it.
Rush-hour traffic at a Lincoln Tunnel entrance…yawn…what else is new? But wait! What’s that in the foreground? It’s a roof…it’s a shipping container…it’s a farm!
More precisely, it’s Lincoln Tunnel Farm, installed this spring atop the Beta shipping container (40′ x 8′ x 8′) in RR’s parking lot. We’re growing lettuce, spicy greens, hardy greens, cucumbers, green (and purple and yellow) beans, radishes, herbs, snap peas, watermelons, nasturtiums, and flax (because this clueless dude I ordered seeds from didn’t have mache and decided I’d have fun growing a plant I don’t know how to make clothing out of). The farm is a partnership between RR and Lots to Eat (my gardening company and gardening philosophy, merged into one memorable phrase).
Would Lincoln Tunnel Farm qualify for organic certification, under the national organic standards? Probably not. The vegetables are, after all, basking in the pollutants and particulates that we Manhattanites inhale every day. (Hint: If you’re afraid to eat food that grows where you live, turning your car into a planter is a good first step towards ameliorating the situation.) However, they also get to drink NYC’s excellent tap water, and eat NYC-generated worm compost (mixed into the 800 pounds of potting soil we purchased from the Lower East Side Ecology Center). On special occasions, I treat them to coffee grounds from Starbucks (free at the 9th Ave & 15th St location, thanks to the Grounds for Your Garden program). And I saw a ladybug up there the other day, so I must be doing something right!