Basement Bounty

Located in Manhattan’s Tribeca, Farm.One fully embraces the expression “down on the farm” — this hydroponic farm is located in a basement. What’s more, it moves the farm-to-table movement at warp speed: Farm.One prides itself on delivering fresh produce to customers in as little as 30 minutes.

Started in 2016 by Rob Laing to test the efficacy of hydroponic farming in the city, Farm.One exceeded all expectations, taking on customers as soon as the farm opened its doors. Now at its more spacious 1,200-foot home beneath the restaurant Atera, it produces 1,000 pounds of microgreens, herbs and edible flowers each week. Many of the 600+ varieties it sells — primarily to Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurants, but also to serious home foodies — have been grown from rare seeds collected all over the world.

“It’s an ideal space, close to our customers, and finding a way to use unused urban space for something really cool gives us a model for the future,” says Laing, Farm.One’s CEO.

Like all hydroponic farmss, there’s no soil at Farm.One; plants grow in water, relying on a mix of nutrients and a high-tech LED lighting system that delivers just the right amount of “sunlight” to each species. By replicating optimal growing conditions, “it’s a perfect summer’s day, year-round, whatever the weather,” states the Farm.One website. Thanks to recycling, it uses 95% less water than comparable land-based farming, and pesticides are verboten.

Remaining true to its original educational mission, Farm.One offers frequent tours and tastings of its facility. It also has developed a unique “edible bar” — a 4×4-foot table of living greens it will deliver and set up at cocktail parties or other events. Guests committed to sustainability and healthy eating should enjoy grazing on what’s sure to keep the conversation flowing.