Hydroponic Heaven on the Roof of PS 333 (154 W. 93rd Street)

A bustling Upper West Side K-8 public school (known lovingly in the Five Boroughs as a “PS”) is entering the history books in early November with a first-of-its-kind roof.  This rooftop classroom/science lab is kitted out as a fully functioning hydroponic farm fueled by tilapia (fish) waste and irrigated by two giant rain-collecting containers.  It is enclosed in a 1440 square foot greenhouse that is capable of producing up to 8,000 pounds of produce per year!  This state-of-the-art, soil-free farm is temperature controlled by a sophisticated computer system that automates many tasks, including opening and closing panels in the glass roof for the comfort of the people, fish and plants in this rooftop green house.

PS 333’s science lab in the sky is modeled after a similar greenhouse-enclosed hydroponic farm built on a traveling barge, currently docked in Yonkers and open to the public free of charge.  Two years ago, Sidsel Robards and Manuela Zamora, two mover-and-shaker parents at PS 333,  were inspired by the floating science barge and determined to build one on the roof of their childrens’ school.

Plans for the hydroponic produce may include a school lobby farm stand where parents can drop off their children and pick up the freshest veggies possible for tonight’s locavore dinner.  Kudos to the innovators at PS 333 for showing us that it is possible to simply LOOK UP and see where your dinner grows.  Stay tuned for more on this unique roof farm once it opens in early November.

In the meantime, I’ve got an appointment later this week with an artist who has created several roof gardens in the West Village.  I can hardly wait to see them and share what treasures await with you.


4 thoughts on “Hydroponic Heaven on the Roof of PS 333 (154 W. 93rd Street)

  1. hi leslie
    thank you for the fascinating peek @ hydroponics and the chance to shout out a hello to you from your former “home” in san diego. personally, i am totally (r u getting nostalgic for the s.c. lingo ) interested in water conservation as well as more natural and energy efficient living–so please keep sending your experiences into the blogasphere so we all may share your experiences…and for me, as a result, i feel i get to live a little more intensely, even if it is vicariously…

  2. This is fascinating to me. I would like to see photos of this hydroponic rooftop garden. Are the school children involved in all aspects of the garden on the roof including installation?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s