Meet Farmer Ben. He’s an urban rooftop agriculture extraordinaire. If you recognize him, then it’s probably because you’ve seen him picking piquant peppers and making one helluva hot sauce on Brooklyn’s rooftop. As Head Farmer and President of Brooklyn Grange (@brooklyngrange), he’ll be teaching us the tricks of his trade this Tuesday, Oct 27 with their infamous hot sauce making workshop! (Foodstanders get 50% off with promo code FOODSTAND).
The Grange’s rooftop soil farms in NYC are the world’s largest—operating on two roofs where they produce over 50,000 lbs of organically-grown produce each year, which quite frankly—we think is impressive! Ben is the master of efficiency, and strives to raise the urban ag industry to a new level. We were able to take a few minutes of his time before next week’s workshop to talk rooftops, hot sauce, and his favorite recipe. Thanks, Ben!
What’s your business—in 10 words or less?
Rooftop farm and builder of urban green spaces.
What’s the most important thing we should know about your business?
We farm 2.5 acres of rooftop space, and produce hot sauce.
Who is one famous person, dead or alive, that you want to share a meal with? and where?
Elon Musk – on our rooftop farm
How do you define good food?
Good food utilizes and emphasizes the natural flavors of the ingredients, without preservatives.
Best part about being in the food industry?
Accessing all different types of herbs, flavors, and healthy foods.
Worst part about being in the food industry?
People eat 365 days of the year! So the food industry can be demanding at times, and hectic to keep up with.
What was your biggest challenge/hardest moment in relation to your business / organization?
We are a diverse vegetable farm located in a challenging, often windy, environment.
What’s always in your fridge?
Hot Sauce, fish sauce, and homemade salad dressing.
Who/what was/is your food inspiration?
Cooking and eating seasonally.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be?
I would be designing systems.
Your good food wish?
For folks to keep on eating with great diversity – moderation, moderation!
Favorite dish using your product?
Sauted green beans with hot sauce, tomatoes, onions, and sliced pickled chilies.