While many restaurateurs have been making a greater effort to use fresh, seasonal produce, chef Rick Bayless has taken the idea to the extreme with an urban farm called 'The Bayless Gardens.' Nestled on three lots adjacent to the city's Bucktown neighborhood, the garden serves as a green oasis in the heart of an urban jungle.
The Bayless Gardens is a 1,000-square-foot space featuring beds of squash, salad greens, herbs and edible flowers -- all of which are used in chef Bayless' restaurants. The gardens are in operation for 8 months of the year, while a heated greenhouse is used to grow other herbs and salad greens during the winter months. However, the garden is not simply a source of produce, but also an educational tool that allows restaurant staff and local residents to better understand the food production process.
With tours available to the public on a regular basis, those attending Trend Hunter’s Chicago innovation conference won’t want to skip this stunning garden, which has quickly become a model for other urban food purveyors.