Urban Garden, the aeroponic garden at the Chicago airport

Nov 11, 2015 | written by:

Reading this article, probably many of you will become a little bit envy and others will drift Chicago at the top on the list of the next destinations, or at least arrange a trip that includes a stop at Terminal 3 of the airport. What is certain is that Charles Tim Tian Lin is one of those rare and lucky people who love their work, and if the smell of basil used in his kitchen, persists on his hands when he's coming back home in the evening, he is even happier.

He explains everything with openness, but what he sees and lives every day is not something normal and usual. Charles has a restaurant, called Wicker Park, and uses only ingredients from the Urban Garden, an aeroponic garden situated in the gate of the American Windy City. Aero..what? This strange word means that the farming technique used foresees the aerial suspension of plants’ roots and their intermittently nebulization with nutrient solutions, without using of ground. It looks like an astronomical thing. In fact, this unique garden was created with the collaboration of NASA, HMSHost and the Chicago Department of Aviation, achieving a pioneering experiment in the field of environmental sustainability and a project to increase the sustainability of the airport, in order to have vegetables and herbs at km 0 available to use in some airport restaurants like the one of Charles. 

The garden consists of 26 towers, in which are grown 44 plants to be used in HMSHost stores, enriching dishes with a more intense taste, given by the freshness of food. The Chicago O'Hare airport sees many travelers crossing its corridors, more than 66 million a year from all over the world. For this reason and for the peculiarity of the garden suspended between gates, working in one of its  restaurants is like having the window always open on the different tastes from all over the world: "I do not do sushi, I do a range of flavor to people's lives,"Charles says.


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