Well folks, the future is here. Not only do we have magic flying machines that can whisk us across the country in a matter of hours, but now, within the vast places that host those winged contraptions, we can grow food on vertical towers with no soil.
Welcome to the O’Hare Urban Garden. Nestled between Terminal 2 and 3 in the mezzanine level of the ORD Rotunda Building at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a 928-square-foot plot is home to the world’s first vertical aeroponic garden inside an airport terminal.
With more than 1,000 plants tucked in pockets on the 26 towers, the crops include Swiss chard, arugula, basil, chives, cilantro, dill, sage, thyme, oregano, edible flowers, mixed lettuces, an assortment of hot peppers and a variety of lettuces. Fueling this future smorgasbord is a nutrition-rich solution that mists the roots from within the columns. No soil required.
The sky-high farm, a collaboration between Chicago Department of Aviation and HMS Host Corporation, has a reduced its spatial footprint and uses a mere 5 percent of the water normally required for farming.
"It uses and recycles water. The water has nutrients in it that feeds the vegetables, so it's using less land growing vertically instead of horizontally," aviation commissioner Rosemarie Andolino told ABC Chicago.
The bounty is purchased through a CSA of sorts comprised of the airport’s restaurants.
Now that's airport food we can look forward to eating.
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