Uncommon Ground

From HistoryWiki

Uncommon Ground

1401 W. Devon Avenue

Chicago, IL 60660

The original location of this two-store chain is still at 1214 W. Grace Street, Chicago, IL 60613

Located in historic Edgewater, the restaurant has the nation's first certified organic rooftop garden.

Uncommon Ground is one of the featured locations in openhousechicago 2011, 2012.


Organic Certification through Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) October, 2008.

Their certified organic rooftop farm produces produce that is used in both restaurants. The 2,500 square foot deck is made from post-consumer recycled materials, on the roof (654 square feet of soil).

Organic plants are rotated through the raised beds over time, and include: varieties of sweet and hot peppers, varieties of eggplant, lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, radishes, beets, okra, spinach, fennel, mustard, bush beans, and shallots.

Herbs grown include: rosemary, thyme, chives, garlic chives, tarragon, sage, parsley, dill, mint, lavender, basil, anise hyssop, etc.

The beauty of the roof top farm is embellished by a variety of flowers and companion plants including: nasturtiums, calendula, marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias, and morning glories.

They will be planting some seed varieties that have been included in the Slow Food movement's "Ark of Taste." ("The Ark seeks, first and foremost, to save an economic, social, and cultural heritage of fruits and vegetables.")

They purchase organic seeds from Seed Savers, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Abundant Life Seed Company, Terratorial Seed Company and Seeds of Change, as well as cultivating their own seed stock from plants that have excelled in their farm.

The soil is organic and comes from Fox Farm Soil and Fertilizer Company. It is called "Frog," and the ingredients are: forest humus, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano (sustainably harvested), humic acid (derived from Leonardite), oyster shell and dolomite lime (for pH adjustments).

They support other local farmers by purchasing organic plants at farmers markets.