by Marilyn La Jeunesse
Surrounded by looming skyscrapers and bordered by the East River, Riverpark Restaurant is a farm-to-table dining experience that provides an ever-changing menu for its customers based on Riverpark Farm’s seasonal produce. Located at 450 E 29th Street, Riverpark is an example of successful urban farming for other New York City restaurants interested in growing their own produce.
Zach Pickens (above) is the man in charge of growing and maintaining 3,000 square feet of crops for Riverpark Farm, which provides the restaurant with nearly 30 percent of all its ingredient necessities. As farm manager, Pickens is also in charge of purchasing produce that is not grown by Riverpark from local farms and farmer’s markets around New York City.
Green Garlic (above) is one of nearly 100 different types of crops grown on Riverpark Farm. The garlic, like all of the other plants at the farm, is grown in milk crates which makes the farm portable in the case of expansion, re-cultivating and severe weather.
Lemon Verbena (above) was one of the first plants to sprout as the growing season began this year. The normal growing season is about nine months and lasts from mid-March to mid-November. In the winter, the greenhouse is used to allow Microgreens and other small plants to continue to germinate.
With both an indoor (above) and outdoor seating area, Riverpark Restaurant is able to accommodate up to 200 guests at a time. In addition, the restaurant has two conference rooms and a larger space, known as The Cube, where personal and corporate events may be held.