Happy Eats Healthy honored at 2017 Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards!


How excited do you think I was when I received the call telling me that my roofdeck won in the 2017 Chicago Excellence in Gardening Award? Let's just say I was tickled strawberry pink!

Monique Costello wins Chicago Excellence in Garden award
The Happy Eats Healthy roofdeck (aka DaM Roof- for Dave and Monique's roof) has been a labor of love but completely worth it. 

The roof is home to nearly 100 plants ranging from ornamental to vegetable and herbs. All edibles are used in our cooking classes and pop-up dinners, which are all held on the roof. The view is stunning and makes for a great opportunity to watch the city hum along.

It's been a super learning experience. Gardening on a roof in downtown Chicago has presented some real challenges from burning sun to intense wind. Most of our plants thrive and some get replaced. 

This year the garden is home to a couple really fun new plants like quinoa, stevia, and tomatillos. 

Students and clients love the opportunity to pick their own food. My favorite memory is the time a client pulled up a big white carrot (I always grow kaleidoscope carrots- so the colors range from orange to yellow to red to purple and even white). Her face went from sheer excitement to confusion, after a moment of surveying the carrot she turned to me and definitively exclaimed: 'My carrots not done, can I put it back?"

I love 'trophy' too, it's a weather-proof plaque on a garden stake, how cool is that?? Thanks to the Mike Nowak show and all the sponsors of this award. It's an honor!

Huge props to Dave for all the help (read: manual labor) he's put in on the roof over the past few year, it wouldn't be a winner without his hard work and love!

roof garden 3



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