Enjoy this wonderful article about our talented rooftop gardener Sara Gasbarra of Verdura. Not only does she tend the Farmhouse garden, but she’s got a pretty impressive lineup of clients here in Chicago.
“After Gasbarra checks her watering system and makes sure everything is healthy, we head to our next destination — her biggest project, on the rooftop of the Chicago Hilton. The Willis Tower looms in the distance and a huge ventilator roars, but despite the manmade setting, the roof is covered with greenery. It houses an 84-box operation that is more farm than garden. There are three kinds of cherry tomatoes, a trio of pepper types, radishes, greens and more herbs than I have ever seen in one place.
At Farmhouse in River North, Gasbarra heads through the restaurant to an upstairs back office and out the door. The garden is on the next roof up, so up a ladder we climb to the sun-baked top of the building. “I had to use a pulley system to get the plants up,” said Gasbarra before I can complain about the climb.
Here, box after box is filled with arugula, since the restaurant wanted to produce an amount usable for more than just garnishes. Chef Eric Mansavage climbs up after us and picks cherry tomatoes.”