Whole Foods' next New York outlet looks set to become a supermarket with a difference. The supermarket chain will partner Gotham Greens to open a supermarket in Brooklyn sporting a 20,000 sq ft (1,860 sq m) rooftop greenhouse growing produce to be sold on the premises. "This project takes the discussion from food miles to food footsteps," said Gotham Greens Co-Founder, Viraj Puri.

Gotham Greens is already a specialist when it comes to rooftop greenhouses, opening its first facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 2011. There, a range of produce is grown using hydroponics in an enclosed environment, allowing for precise control of conditions such as temperature, light and humidity. Heating, cooling, irrigation and plant nutrition systems are controlled by computer.

Gotham Greens says that this minimizes risks such as disease and pests, and allows produce to be grown throughout the year. The Greenpoint farm has been supplying Whole Foods with produce since its opening.


Inside Gotham Greens' Greenpoint farm (Video grab: Dark Rye)

The new farm will be the USA's, if not the world's, first greenhouse integrated into a supermarket. It will be located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. It's claimed that the irrigation methods will use a twentieth of the water of conventional farming methods.

The greenhouse will be designed, built and operated by Gotham Greens with Whole Foods running the store beneath. It is set to open this New York fall.

A promotional video about the joint venture produced by Whole Foods' publication Dark Rye is below.

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