This past Monday I was able to attend the Southern Exposure Farms open house in the Monroe-Alexander neighborhood on top of the Alexander-Park Garage. My social media had been peppered for months with news and pictures from the development of Rochester’s first organic rooftop farm and images of the fantastic looking veggies it has started to produce. This made me quite excited to check out their setup and grab some good snacks while I was at it.
Luckily the rain that drenched the city for most of the day decided to slow down for the event and I was able to tour the potted gardens that I had heard so much about and sampled at Aunt Rosie’s a few times. As far as I know, this is the only major rooftop style farm being operated in the Rochester area and the quantity and quality of the plants being grown was impressive. Talking to Andre and Marty from Marty’s Meats who are also a major part of SoEx Farms, I learned that they were growing 18 different versions of heirloom tomatoes along with a good variety of peppers and herbs. The cape gooseberry that I sampled was fantastic with a sweet, buttery finish and I hope to catch them on someones menu soon. The greens being grown looked good but didn’t make up a huge percentage of the plants out there.
Marty’s Meats Carolina sandwich (tender pulled pork, BBQ sauce and coleslaw) was pleasant to munch on while walking around and chatting with other people in the Rochester food scene and the olive oil and basil ice cream from Eat Me Ice Cream was floral and very refreshing. Always glad to see them out and I’ve never been disappointed sampling their diverse and unique flavors that change throughout the year.
Right now SoEx Farms produce is being used at both Marty’s Meats and Aunt Rosie’s and I’m sure more places will start adopting their wares as they become more visible in the community. The concept being executed here has worked well in many major cities around the country and the crew from SoEx Farms is trailblazing that road here in Rochester. Congrats to them and I hope to see more from them over time. Great job!