Friday, July 19, 2024
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A Sprawling Kitchen Garden in Hell’s Kitchen

By M+E Staff

You might recognize the seedlings, herbs, and vegetables that are growing in the photos shared here: ginger and basil, yellow squash, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, and more. And, of course, that’s Manhattan’s unmistakable West Side skyline in the background. So, where exactly, is this bucolic-urban mashup? The answer may surprise you: the Javits Center.

Doreen Guerin, the convention center’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, had told me about the Javits Center’s one-acre rooftop farm when I interviewed her for the People Profile in the spring/summer issue of Northeast Meetings + Events . Still, it was astonishing to see those rows and rows of produce, framed by huge sunflowers, and the microgreens thriving in the all-season hydroponic greenhouse in person. Even more astonishing was a fact Doreen shared with me: “The Farm,” as it’s known, generates some 40,000 pounds of produce a year, with the crops directed to the convention center’s kitchens, where chefs turn out a true “roof to table” experience for attendees. That’s not all: there are four honeybee hives on The Farm and another five hives on the center’s green roof. Every year, after leaving enough honey for the bees, 100 pounds of honey are harvested to use in event catering and in honey jars for special giveaways.

The Farm is just one example of what true sustainability looks like at today’s modern meeting venues. You can learn more about the Javits Center’s rooftop habitats here.