The Zest Has Arrived! Episode 1 with Sara Gasbarra

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Today is the day! We're excited to dive into the world of podcasting with this amazing episode with Sara Gasbarra of Verdura. We say amazing not because it's perfect, but because we had no clue how to do a podcast 6 weeks ago, and now we do...sort of. Everything Sara has to say is completely delightful- we talk about how she made the jump into her company- aided by Instagram and a little bit of courage. She shares some great early spring gardening tips and some insight into using all parts of the vegetables, not just the obvious bit. I think the most important thing that Sara shares is this:


Almost every successful person we've encountered has usually gotten around to telling us the same thing: they knew they didn't know everything when they jumped in to their dreams with both feet, but they did feel a strong drive towards yes. They felt compelled to say yes, even when they were afraid, even when they figured they'd make mistakes, even when they probably had a few reasons to say no. To that end, we jumped into making this podcast knowing basically zero about sound editing, microphones or recording. This first go around isn't perfect, but we jumped in and if we hadn't, we wouldn't have gotten to hear about Sara's path from her "what am I doing" desk job to volunteering the Green City Market Edible Gardens in the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

Sara grew these pink oyster mushrooms grown in an old freight tunnel below the Parker House!

Sara grew these pink oyster mushrooms grown in an old freight tunnel below the Parker House!

Verdura buds atop Floriole Pastries

Verdura buds atop Floriole Pastries

Chive blossoms from the Farmhouse Roof 

Chive blossoms from the Farmhouse Roof 

"I knew the tradeoff was the educational piece. I couldn't pick up gardening with any other method."

One of things we were most amazed by was Sara's dedication to learning as much as she could about her craft. It's a balance, right? You want to say yes to big opportunities, but it's also important to have a base of knowledge that you can rely on once you're in the thick of it. Sara spent three years learning at the Edible Gardens before she took them over and got to grow her dream beans. Now, you can find her edible flowers topping your favorite pastries at Floriole, you can discover her pink oyster mushrooms at Parker House Hilton, and maybe...just maybe... you can even find a Calabrian chile, sprouted by Sara right here in Chicago. 

So, that's episode one. We couldn't have asked for a better woman to kick things off with. Sadly, due to some dumb interstate commerce laws, Sara's "pet" snails haven't arrived, but you can be sure we'll share once she sends us a photo. Thanks to everyone who made this first podcast possible, including Mallory, who sold me on this idea while we were on an airplane and my sister Lindsey, who let us practice our interviewing skills on her for Episode 0, which will air someday, I promise. 

Bonus: today we're celebrating our launch with TWO podcasts. So cruise on over to meet Alexis Koran after you've finished this one!

- Kelsey & Mallory

p.s. Going forward, new podcasts will air every other week, which means you can look forward to a new episode on 5/12. We know, we'll miss you too, but we're headed to Miami for a big production job, so if you're into sunset photos and coctkail snaps, you can follow along on Instagram. 

p.p.s. We almost forgot! Want to join us at the next Zest meetup? To the left, to the left. 

{Ep. 1 Music: Broken Bells- Vaporize}

Kelsey KreilingComment