Client: Tom Colicchio‘s Riverpark, Alexandria CenterConsultants: GrowNYC, Sawkill Farm, Wilklow OrchardsAwards: NY Municipal Art Society “Livable City Award”, FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards FinalistAn uncommon oasis, Riverpark Farm joins a growing movement in urban agriculture, using unconventional spaces and technologies for crop harvesting within a densely populated environment. Riverpark restaurant approached ORE with the challenge of creating a farm to provide their kitchen with fresh produce not readily available in the city.
The location, a stalled construction site adjacent to the restaurant, would be available until construction resumes on a new tower. It was thereby crucial for the farm to be portable. ORE’s design uses milk crates as individual planters, keeping weight low and planting density high so all 3,000 plants can be moved in as little as one day, as they were in preparation for Hurricane Irene.
The milk crates are lined with landscape fabric and filled with top soil, peat moss, and perlite soil, creating an air pocket that allows for air and water transfer with limited soil erosion. They are placed on top of empty crates, creating a space for aeration and drainage. The modular nature of the milk crate permits easy, rapid movement of individual plants, enabling the farmers to rotate them in and out of the sun as needed.
It also affords simple soil replacement, maximizing the efficiency of the farm as a whole. ORE sourced all the farm’s materials from local growers and manufacturers. ORE also designed a dining area that is integrated into the farm. Guests to Riverpark were able dine among the very plants from which their meal comes, providing a one of a kind culinary experience..