Rick Bayless Gardens
Welcome to one of the most unique, most eco-friendly, and most vibrant spots in Chicago, the Rick Bayless Gardens. Located on the 606 Elevated Park in Bucktown, this garden spot provides a colorful spread of 1,000 square feet of greenery. The 'backyard area' here at Bucktown is the main production garden and holds 13 raised planter beds that produce salad greens, edible flowers, and several different types of herbs. This produce is utilized in Rick's restaurants, in which he works with local grower Bill Shores to produce.
In the 8 month production period this garden will produce over 700 pounds of greens, 65,000 edible flowers, 250 pounds of herbs, and 100 pounds of butternut squash. During the 4 months of off-season production, the plants move into any one of 3 greenhouses, still producing an impressive amount of food during this time.
There is also a rooftop garden at XOCO, this one producing all the ingredients for Rick's famous Rooftop Salsa. 650 pounds of tomatoes, 125 pounds of chilis, 89 pounds of Chinese long beans, and several herbs are produced amid a 'Mexican Fiesta' themed planter array.
The point of these gardens is not only to utilize local 'urban edibles', but to teach the public about the importance of function and beauty when it comes to gardening and food production. These small space rooftop gardens, verticle gardens, and mid-city gardens are a great solution to our rapidly expanding urban hold on the US and lack of sufficient fresh foods for these areas. This is a great spot to teach your group the importance of urban horticulture, and horticulture in general.
Take the 1-hour tour and you will see the Outdoor Kitchen, garden space, container plants, organic veggie section, and compost systems.