Sara Gasbarra, Children's program chair and Edible Gardens project manager for Green City Market

34 // Children’s program chair and Edible Gardens project manager for
Green City Market
From: Glenview
Lives in: Ukrainian Village
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Gasbarra oversees a 5,000-square-foot organic vegetable garden at the Lincoln Park Zoo and leads field trips so students can learn firsthand about organic produce and farming.

How do you know how to do this? “My father is from Italy, and when I was growing up, he always had a garden, and he was an amazing cook. My mom was a schoolteacher, and I would visit her classroom in Garfield Park. All the worlds came together: gardening, food, working with kids. I feel very fortunate to have a job that’s also my biggest hobby.”

Ever feel out of place in the city? “I’m not a country bumpkin or anything like that. I love the city. I think there’s a way to bridge both worlds—to live this urban lifestyle but also be connected to nature.”

On her social life: “I’m not the club girl at all, but I do love hanging out with friends, drinking beers, and I’m always cooking for my friends. I’m obsessed with cooking ridiculously long meals that are pretty involved. I think it goes back to being in the kitchen with my dad and cooking and our spending time together.”

On friends: “This is the first year I have gotten all my friends on this garden kick, so I find myself on weekend afternoons going over to my friends’ houses and helping them.”

On her previous job: “I was working behind a desk, doing finance work, and it was so not me. So I quit my job and started volunteering at the Green City Market. I became obsessed with the place and started working there more and more. Shifts were two hours. I’d do my volunteer shift, and then I’d stay longer. I’d talk to the chefs, talk to the farmers. I kept thinking, This is great. How do I stay here longer?” —N.I.


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