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6th Annual Corks And Crayons Event

Melissa Hayes

Professional Photographer Documentary | Lifestyle | Fine Art

I recently attended the annual Corks and Crayons event held by non-profit Purple Asparagus ( at Uncommon Ground (

Founded by Chef Melissa Graham in 2005, Purple Asparagus is a non-profit dedicated to
bringing families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating.

In 2010, Purple Asparagus spearheaded a coalition of child nutrition and
school food advocates called Growing Healthy Kids. At their inaugural meeting
in January, they met at Logan Square Kitchen to discuss possible collaborative
efforts to improve the health of Chicago's children. They are working towards
creating a health fair open to parents, teachers, and administrators that will
provide information about programs available for schools in Chicagoland.  
To learn more about this growing initiative, please visit

During my visit at the annual Corks and Crayons fundraiser, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the first ever rooftop organic farm.  Take a look through some of the images below.  The solar panels heat up to 50% of the water for the restaurant and they also house beehives. 

Uncommon Ground operates a community based restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and ­­­­­­­ advocates the principles of local, sustainable and organically produced food and contributing to the community that they reside in. The Uncommon Ground Roof Top Farm is committed to a long-term organic gardening program that hopefully will be used as a model for other roof top gardens and farms in comparable environments. We hope our Roof Top Farm will become a beacon for our community and raise awareness of the power of local production and what is possible in urban agriculture.



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