"(Farm manager Nick) Storrs started tinkering with rice three years ago. First, he needed to choose the right variety. The indica strain (of rice) depends on intense heat to reach maturity. Japonica rice, on the other hand, reaches maturity based on seasonal day length. Turns out, New York is on roughly the same latitude as Japan (where much japonica is grown).
"Storrs says New York’s climate is “not not a problem”: The window of temperate growing time won’t naturally bring rice to maturity. So — like other Northeastern farmers who’ve been experimenting with rice — he starts rice seedlings in greenhouses, in March. They fully develop indoors before being moved to the paddies in June."
Food Modern Farmer reports on a new scheme under Hell's Gate Bridge in New York to create urban rice paddies at Randall’s Island Urban Farm. After a bit of experimentation it's easier than you might think: