Chicago native, Sara Gasbarra, is the founder of Verdura, a full service culinary garden design company working with hotels, restaurants, cafes and businesses all over the US.
Inspiration for cultivating edible green spaces for Sara's clientele is drawn directly from childhood memories of summers spent gardening and cooking with her Italian-born father. From those formative experiences she has developed a sense of horticultural diversity, with a hankering for heirloom varieties. Hojiso shiso, lady bird nasturtium, Parisian market carrots, sungold tomatoes, heirloom French harlequin/ tangerine gem marigolds, Siam queen basil and wood sorrels in every colour are top of Sara's list.
She now cultivates culinary gardens for Chicago institutions such as Palmer House Hilton and Smyth & The Loyalist, as well as Nicky's Coal Fired and The Catbird Seat in Nashville. Not only that, Sara spreads the urban gardening message by consulting to the likes of IDEO, Google, and Soho House, as they look to opportunities to green our cities and towns.
At Catbird, Sara has been experimenting with a myriad of Glowpear Urban Gardens, to create a vast city farm for the Nashvillle based chefs to forage in.
"These modular, self-watering planters with a sleek, contemporary design to boot, are perfect for the unusual spaces I encounter while setting up gardens in an urban landscape." she comments.
Sare's not wrong, having transformed Catbird's previously plain rooftop into a lush urban oasis!