Rushing through a busy airport, you wouldn’t expect to see a lush green vegetable garden. But at Chicago’s O’Hare International, that’s exactly what you’ll find.
In the airport’s rotunda, travelers can admire 26 vertical towers that house more than 1,000 plants and 44 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens.
Brad Maher, the Food and Beverage Operations Director at O’Hare says the towers introduce people to aeroponics – water mixed with nutrients and minerals flows through O’Hare’s system every 30 minutes.
The technique can be used to grow food indoors year-round, regardless of the climate. It provides fresh, locally grown produce and reduces the pollution from transportation.
At the airport garden, what’s grown is used on-site.
“We use some of the basil for our margherita pizza, we use our habaneros for our habanero salsa,” says Maher.
For travelers, O’Hare’s garden provides fresh food, an oasis of calm, and an inspiring lesson in sustainability.