During my trip to NYC, I visited Jonathan Sumner, the Farm Manager at Riverpark Farm, one of the most unusual urban farms I’ve ever visited.

He grows in 3,200 individual milk creates on real estate that’s probably some of the most expensive in the city. All of the produce goes to Riverpark, a celebrity chef-owned high-end restaurant right on the water, surrounded by the Bellevue Hospital and the UN building.

In this long tour, we dive deep with Jonathan and learn how he’s producing such epic harvests out of what looks to be a challenging growing space – many small crates, crazy wind, and minimal sun.

Find Jonathan and Riverpark:

– https://www.instagram.com/farmer_jonathan_nyc/
– https://www.instagram.com/riverparknyc/


Epic Gardening is much more than a YouTube channel. I have a website with 300+ gardening tutorials as well as a podcast where I release daily gardening tips in five minutes or less. There’s also a Facebook group with over 1,500 other gardeners sharing their tips.

→ Website: http://www.epicgardening.com/blog
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Video Rating: / 5

Farming in 3,200 Milk Crates For a High-End Restaurant in Manhattan

About The Author


  • Epic Gardening

    0:00 – Intro
    1:04 – Greenhouse
    3:10 – Surrounding Area and Growing Challenges
    4:03 – Growing Fresh Lima Beans
    6:43 – Why Grow In Milk Crates?
    8:59 – Cover Cropping Milk Crates
    11:51 – Irrigating Milk Crates
    15:11 – Growing Okra and Sorghum
    17:15 – Walking Tour of Beds
    23:46 – Growing Indigo to Dye Cloth
    26:05 – Sun Challenges and Crate Rotation
    33:22 – Outro and Taste Test of Different Produce

  • WEB

    you need to water with compost tea as well, then test your nutrient and mineral content with the refractometer…..would love to know some facts about this set up…….why do Gardners never want to know the facts about what they are actually doing…..well like they say nobody likes the truth….

  • michael paulissen

    He said he let's the butterfly lay eggs and the larve to grow because many people in the city dont get to see butterflies? As a coutry boy i have to ask why the hell would someone live where there are no butterflies or things !Ike that? That is not live, that is just existing!

  • michael paulissen

    Cool idea but…. Farming in ground zero armpit of one of the most polluted cities in the world! Get this young man a half acre of ground away from the toxic filth!

  • Chloe7 Seven

    Excuse me for asking I'm in South Africa and we don't get the things you have. Could you tell me what the crates are lined with and are they lined at the bottom as well? Would appreciate.

  • the Coyote

    Try wine cap mushrooms. I grew way too many by accident. Seems like they would work with your system. The chef may celebrate.

  • ScrappingNurse

    I couldn’t finish viewing – very tedious listening to film maker – would have been more valuable to let farmer speak more, view more items –

  • Bob Wareham

    What about car pollution with all the traffic is that not in the items you are growing and consumed by the customers in the restaurant

  • Matt Olsson

    Add a lined bed and put the crates inside of the bed, this will cut down on wind drying out the soil. Any water leaching when it rains and when he waters can be collected and drained into a separate sump.

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