Why All The Cabbages At Garfield Park Conservatory?

Steve Miller
September 18, 2019 - 5:26 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial officially opening Saturday is a different field of architecture, at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

The project was commissioned by the Danish Arts Foundation.

"We said yes, and we were expecting some kind of sculptural object,” explains Mary Eysenbach, director of conservatories for the Chicago Park District.

What the Danes had in mind was planting cabbages behind the conservatory – 10,000 cabbages.

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

"At first we kind of hesitated because there's a lot of things involved in taking out lawn and putting in cabbages,” she said.

But the cabbage seedlings went in in May. Now, some are almost ready to harvest.

"It's awesome. It's kind of beautiful, the rows. The straight rows are very different than the rest of the garden because the rest of the garden is much more informal and freer design,” Eysenbach said.

The concept is meant to get people thinking and talking about land and space and how to use it. She says it fits in with the scope of the Architecture Biennial.

"When you build a building, where does it go? Where does it start? It starts in a space. So, to start the architectural discussion about space, it's perfectly sensible to link the two."

There will be periodic harvests and cooking demonstrations. Yes, people will be allowed to take home a cabbage.