I’m on a mission to make healthy choices daily. So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I finally found the garden that’s tucked inside Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport during as recent business trip.
Yes, there’s a garden indoors! And, you can see it up close during layovers in Terminal 3!
I bought a salad for breakfast/lunch (travel meals never make sense) and the cashier explained that I could visit the garden where the lettuce for my salad were grown. WHAT?! She directed me up a set of nearby steps and within a few minutes I was admiring rows of fresh herbs, flowers, beans and leafy greens in the Rotunda Building over the Corridor to Concourse G.
When I spotted the garden, a caretaker was watering and pruning the plants. Each of the 26 column-style planters are labeled for viewers to enjoy.
I found a table near the windows overlooking the runway, with the garden off to the side, and enjoyed my Insalata Salad complete with chickpeas, artichoke hearts, red onions and olives.
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With a little digging, I found out the garden is a fertilizer and chemical-free aeroponic garden, which means the plants grow without soil. Instead, a nutrient-rich liquid solution is pumped through the columns to nourish the plants.
Several of the restaurants in O’Hare International Airport harvest fresh produce from the garden to use in their dishes. The garden was installed in 2011.
Have you ever visited the aeroponic garden at O’Hare International Airport?
Until next time,
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Note: This article was last updated on October 29, 2021. At this time, it appears the garden has been removed from the airport. It was neat while it lasted! Maybe it will come back after the pandemic!