Brooklyn Pastoral: The Hip Borough Goes Bucolic

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Urban farmer Annie Novak surveys the farm in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., on July 14, 2009.  Rooftop Farms has 6000 square feet of space to raise produce.Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg
Urban farming, with the city in the distance. Photo: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The plan for goats to roam a "rat-infested, neglected lot" in Dumbo — as an art project, of course — before it becomes condos is just the latest nod by the hippest, most populous borough to the advantages of country life. (The plan is for the green clover field to "blush crimson" later in the summer.) In the land of kale and juicing and urban cowboys, pastoral may be the new artisanal — or do they go together like pickled ramps and goat cheese? — as rooftop agriculture and attempts at outdoorsiness continue to take over gentrifying Brooklyn. It's an urban center (the new Manhattan!) but with fresh vegetables (farm to table!). To be fair, the combination looks really good in (Instagram) photos.

Volunteers and teenagers from local schools help renovate an out of use community garden in East New York, Brooklyn as part of a community service project organized by Slow Food NYC.
Volunteers and teenagers from local schools help renovate an out of use community garden in East New York, Brooklyn as part of a community service project organized by Slow Food NYC. Photo: Andy Kropa/Redux
Declan Walsh spent about $300 to build a coop and a fenced-in chicken run to raise broiler hens Brooklyn in July 2009. Walsh is raising broiler hens in Brooklyn this year and estimates that each will cost him $8 over its lifetime. As Americans try to safeguard themselves from what they fear will be even worse times ahead, some are raising chickens. As a backyard chicken trend sweeps the country, hatcheries that supply baby chicks say they can barely keep up with demand. Do-it-yourself coops have popped up in places as disparate as Brooklyn, suburban Chicago and the rural West. (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)
Declan Walsh spent about $300 to build a coop and a fenced-in chicken run to raise broiler hens Brooklyn in July 2009. Walsh is raising broiler hens in Brooklyn this year and estimates that each will cost him $8 over its lifetime. Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times/Redux
NEW YORK - MAY 30:  An urban beekeeper inspects part of her colony of Italian honeybees on the roof of her Brooklyn building May 30, 2009 in New York City.  Beekeeping is a growing phenomenon among environmentally-conscious urban dwellers in cities nationwide, and practioners cite the health benefits of natural honey as well as the boon to gardening that bees provide by pollination.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
An urban beekeeper inspects part of her colony of Italian honeybees on the roof of her Brooklyn building. Beekeeping is a growing phenomenon among environmentally-conscious urban dwellers in cities nationwide, and practioners cite the health benefits of natural honey as well as the boon to gardening that bees provide by pollination. Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Iraq war veteran Pam O'Donnell (L), who served in the Marines in Anbar province during the height of combat in 2004, shovels straw in a stable during a Seaside Therapeutic Riding session July 29, 2008 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.   The program brings US veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder out to ride and care for horses as a means of treatment for their PTSD.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Iraq war veteran Pam O'Donnell (L), who served in the Marines in Anbar province during the height of combat in 2004, shovels straw in a stable during a Seaside Therapeutic Riding session in Brooklyn. Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
The Urban Cowboy bed & breakfast ... in Williamsburg.
A rooftop garden, made by Brooklyn Grange, is seen in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in the Brooklyn section of New York, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.  Brooklyn Grange, a commercial farm, currently works two rooftop farms in city, both over an acre, and sell their produce to local restaurants, grocers and at farm stands. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A rooftop garden, made by Brooklyn Grange, is seen in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brooklyn Grange, a commercial farm, currently works two rooftop farms in city, both over an acre, and sell their produce to local restaurants, grocers and at farm stands. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis
04 Jun 2005, Brooklyn, New York City, New York State, USA --- Eleven year old Dvonte Jemmott circles on his horse waiting to start the " Showdeo." There is a respectful and fun vibe at the FBC. Dvonte is well aware of the rules at the stables and on the grounds of the FBC. " No cussing, no violence, no bad things that you would do on the street. When you come down here, you have to act proper." --- Image by ? Scott Houston/Corbis
Eleven year old Dvonte Jemmott circles on his horse waiting to start the "Showdeo." Photo: Scott Houston/Corbis
A rooftop garden, made by Brooklyn Grange, is seen in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in the Brooklyn section of New York, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.  Brooklyn Grange, a commercial farm, currently works two rooftop farms in city, both over an acre, and sell their produce to local restaurants, grocers and at farm stands. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A rooftop garden. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis
The Manhattan skyline is seen behind a Brooklyn Grange rooftop garden in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in the Brooklyn section of New York, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.  Brooklyn Grange, a commercial farm, currently works two rooftop farms in city, both over an acre, and sell their produce to local restaurants, grocers and at farm stands. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The Manhattan skyline is seen behind a Brooklyn Grange rooftop garden. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis