Monday, March 28, 2016

Gotham Greens

I had never been to the Pullman area of Chicago until a few years ago when my editor at a regional newspaper sent me on an assignment to cover a press conference with several elected officials touting the Pullman area and urging the recognition of the historic area as a national park.

I hung around in the area long after the press conference had ended. I stopped in a small info center and chatted and viewed an exhibit. I walked around the neighborhood photographing the rows of houses, the exterior of the Hotel Florence and the big old stone church. I was charmed by the neighborhood and envisioned in my head what the place must have been like a century ago.

The notion of a new national park in Pullman - as dozens of other facilities in the national parks system had been shutting down - seemed very unlikely, preposterous even. But, it helps when the president hails from the area. Before we knew it, it was happening. Pullman had been designated a National Historic Monument. Things have been hopping in Pullman ever since. A cafe is welcoming visitors. A brewery in the area has been growing. And I was so happy to hear about this exciting facility that opened in Pullman last year, Gotham Greens.

Gotham Greens originated in 2009 in New York and they have 3 urban rooftop gardens there. The facility in Chicago spans two-acres on top of the Method Products manufacturing plant. It's the world's largest and most-productive rooftop farm.

When I saw their booth at the Good Food Festival last weekend, I jumped at the chance to buy a pack (they were actually giving away packages and then for a $1 donation you could get a second package -- a magnificent bargain!)

I buy a lot of greens in plastic packages and most of the time, by the time it gets to the sell-by date they are already getting slimy and wilted. So, I consider it a big score when I buy a package and it stays fresh for a couple days. I don't know what Gotham Greens does differently to make their greens so crisp and fresh. They are holding up beautifully so far after two days. They also seem to not cram a big amount in there and I think that helps. The greens aren't crunched, but have room to breathe, I guess. :) They are also placed in the containers in nice large leafs, so they are great for lettuce wraps.

I can't wait to get my hands on some more of this product. I will definitely seek it out as I shop - it can be found around Chicagoland at such places as Whole Foods, Treasure Island, Sunset Foods, Plum Market, Hyde Park Produce and through Peapod.

Find out more about Gotham Greens at

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