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Brooklyn Pastoral: The Hip Borough Goes Bucolic

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. 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. Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times/Redux
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
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 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
Eleven year old Dvonte Jemmott circles on his horse waiting to start the “Showdeo.” Photo: Scott Houston/Corbis
A rooftop garden. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis
The Manhattan skyline is seen behind a Brooklyn Grange rooftop garden. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis
Brooklyn Pastoral: The Hip Borough Goes Bucolic