Hydroponic farming

Appleton, WI Airport growing its own food

You may be familiar with the hydroponic garden at O’Hare International Airport.

Planted in 2011, ORD’s blissful garden is tucked into the mezzanine level of the Terminal 3 Rotunda Building, over the Concourse G corridor. The ORD Yoga Room is nearby. ‘

The garden uses no soil or fertilizer. And it looks nothing like your home garden.

Here, the plant roots are suspended in 26 towers that house over 1,100 planting spots. A solution of nutrients is cycled through the towers to feed the plants.

Getting hungry? You’re in luck. Super fresh vegetables and herbs picked from the ORD garden are used in dishes served at a variety of airport restaurants.

Now Appleton International Airport (ATW) in Wisconsin is joining the grow-your-own movement.

ATW now has its own Flex Farm hydroponic farming system to grow fresh greens for sandwiches and burgers served in the airport’s restaurant, the Fox Cities Eatery.

ATW expects to grow up to 300 pounds of fresh produce each year on its indoor farm.

Like the system at ORD, the hydroponic unit at Appleton International Airport uses only water, air, nutrients, and LED lighting to grow plants. No soil, pesticides or herbicides are used.

ATW’s farming project is a collaboration with Green Bay-based Fork Farms, an indoor agriculture technology company that partners with communities to make the process of producing healthy food accessible to the world.

We think this is a great airport amenity and hope other airports give this a try as well.