SAVOR…Chicago partnered with the Chicago Botanic Garden to plant the Midwest’s largest farm-to-fork rooftop garden as part of its ongoing mission to promote local sustainable agriculture and train city residents for careers in urban agriculture. The garden helps reduce the building’s heat island effect while SAVOR…Chicago uses its harvest of herbs and vegetables to create menu items such as homemade pesto and herb rub.
The rooftop garden provides SAVOR…Chicago with fresh produce for McCormick Place catering and restaurant operations, including “Windy City Harvest” menu items served in the 23rd Street Cafe & Market. The half-acre garden is the Midwest’s largest rooftop top garden producing seasonal harvests that yield 8,000 lbs. of farm-fresh plenty including beets, kale, carrots, lettuce, peppers, beans and herbs used in SAVOR…Chicago kitchens. In addition to stunning skyline views, the rooftop garden is also home to 20,000 honey bees in three hives that produce 50 lbs. of honey a year and 2,000 Red Wiggler worms that create 200 lbs. of vericompost annually.
The garden was designed and planted by staff from the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest (WCH) urban agriculture program.