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Jeff Gilbert

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"Farm-to-Cocktail" Takes Off in Somerville
Hyper-local cocktails served at The Independent restaurant in Union Square Somerville, 7/14/2014 - Somerville, MA: [URL=]Green City Growers[/URL], an urban farming company in Somerville, planted in the existing herb garden beds on the patio of [URL=]The Independent[/URL] in Union Square, giving "The Indo's" bartender Maceo the ability to mix drinks with herbs grown on site. This installation promotes the mission of the Independent to use the freshest ingredients possible in their drinks and dishes.

"People love sitting out on our deck, surrounded by great smelling herbs,” enthuses Jess Willis, general manager of The Independent. “The herbs look beautiful and we use them every day in the kitchen, as well as in cocktails”. Last summer, Jess, an [URL=]urban agriculture ambassador[/URL] trained by Green City Growers, installed garden beds on the patio. She loved having the herbs, but when the garden became too much to maintain she called in Green City Growers, who now manages the planting, harvesting, and maintenance of the garden.

"Many of our restaurant clients choose to grow herbs for their high value and yield," explains Jessie Banhazl, founder and CEO of Green City Growers. "It's cost effective for restaurants to grow their own herbs, and very little space is required to do so."

Last summer The Independent made their Tears of Isis and Thyme Daily cocktails using lemon verbena and thyme grown on their patio. This summer, they hope to create a drink using calendula to add to their list of libations made using herbs grown on site.

About Green City Growers: Green City Growers transforms unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency. Green City Growers provides raised vegetable bed installation, maintenance and education services to corporate offices, schools, restaurants, grocers and residential clients. Green City Growers was founded by Jessie Banhazl in 2008.

About The Independent: The Independent has been a Union Square staple since 2001. The neighborhood bar focuses on the making food from scratch using the freshest ingredients possible. Their drinks are constantly updated to offer a mix of cocktails and craft brews suitable for the season.

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