Garden Photo of the Day

The biggest ‘Sungold’ ever?

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

GPODer and my great friend Miyako Kinoshita was in Chicago for a conference for the last few days, and sent me tons of photos of gardens on the streets there (Chicago is GARDENTASTIC everywhere you look!!), but since I took a vacation day yesterday, and editing a post from home is not easy, let’s start our tour of her favorite sights with these two photos she took on the way out of town in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. It’s an aeroponic veggie garden. In an airport. How cool is that?? The second photo is of what just might be the largest ‘Sungold’ cherry tomoato plant I’ve ever seen. Wow! I found an article on the setup. Check it out HERE. Thanks, Miyako, for sending this in!

**I’ll share more of Miyako’s photos in the next few days.

This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/23/2013

    An unexpected fun idea for a public place...I wonder who all gets to enjoy the harvest? At least no one should have to complain about the rabbits or deer!

  2. mainer59 07/23/2013

    Does anyone know the difference between aeroponics and hydroponics? The link says they are similar but doesn't say how they differ. The way they have done it at O'Hare is very attractive. Vegetable gardens can be pretty.

  3. bee1nine 07/23/2013

    I would be interested in knowing what their pollination
    method consists of, once flowers are set.
    Truly love the sweetness of those little 'sungold' tom's.
    Have got to grow them every summer in my Earthbox!!

  4. tractor1 07/23/2013

    The tomato plants look very spindly and I see some blossoms but no fruit... I also wonder about pollenation indoors. I doubt tomatoes or any fruiting veggies would do well without natural sunlight... herbs and leafy veggies do okay (not great) with artificial light. Tomatoes also wouldn't do well if that space is air conditioned, would be too cool and dry. But still that set up makes for a novel and attractive display... however I think it would do wonderfully well outdoors... and would save a lot of gardening space (and weeding) in that upright mode... may work well in a greenhouse too. If one is even a little handy they can make those planting towers from inexpensive PVC pipe. Thank you for the interesting contribution, Miyako.

  5. user-7006902 07/23/2013

    Love it! Gardens should (and can) be everywhere in every possible space!

  6. sheila_schultz 07/23/2013

    Chicago is a leader when it comes to public garden spaces... in the ground, on rooftops and in containers! I can't wait to see more Miyako!!!

  7. ancientgardener 07/23/2013

    Anything that adds beauty, creativity, fun to an airport is certainly welcome. I wonder if travelers pick off tomatoes for a snack. It didn't look as if it were producing abundantly, or perhaps too many have snacked. Am looking forward to the next pictures.

  8. GrannyMay 07/23/2013

    Definitely the biggest cherry tomato plant I've ever seen! Thanks for including the links to the growing setup Michelle. Once you realize that the plant is probably 6 feet or more wide (its base pot is 3 feet), you can see that there are actually lots of tiny tomatoes on it. The article states that they, and the other vegetables, are used by the airport restaurants. Wonderful idea!

  9. Miyako 07/23/2013

    I have to say...
    The plant had ton of fruits, but the lighting with my iPhone was a challenge. So, GrannyMay, you are totally right!
    It required light, and if they had a solar panel for it, it would have been even better.
    They had chard and peas that were not doing so well, and I wondered if there were too much lighting or it was too warm.
    Chicago truly was inspiring as there were many green initiatives. I went to Chicago to attend a Human-Animal Bond conference, but totally got inspired by the plants. I look forward to Michelle sharing them with you. She did get over 30 pictures in the last few days, and I felt very badly for her.

  10. tractor1 07/23/2013

    I don't mean to bust anyones bubble but that is very far from the world's largest tomato plant, that's obviously like fifty very small individual tomato plants... however those tomato plants produce the world's most expensive tomatoes considering the electric bill for all those high wattage grow lamps. As I mentioned earlier, it a novel concept... and if I didn't have lots of outdoor growing space I would seriously consider such an arrangement... indoors it's kinda cutesy but not at all practical. And I did read the blurb at that link, mentioned saving a few pennies worth of H20 but no mention of the horrendous lighting bill. I would never consider attempting tomatoes under artificial light. That said in spite of cold wet weather delaying my veggie planting I did harvest five very nice zukes today, one green four yellow... cooking now.

  11. MichelleGervais 07/23/2013

    Oh gosh, Sheldon, you're right! Based on the other towers, that's MANY 'Sungold' plants, not just one. Still cool, though. I'm sure their intent was just to educate, not produce efficiently. It's a look at what we could do in the future, especially under glass.

  12. tractor1 07/23/2013

    Michelle, gardeners have been using similar planters for decades, but with natural sunlight... thirty years ago I had a strawberry planter, a huge ceramic urn with lots of little cutouts all around for individual plants, worked vry well while conserving space. I see all sorts of similar hanging planters for veggies too, some even grow plants upside down. But they are all meant to be used outdoors. I've tried growing plants indoors with "Grow-Lites", they don't work very well and they run up your electric bill astronomically. As a young teen I was heavy into tropical fish, in fact I brought the first fantail guppies into the US via Germany and wholesaled to Aquastock in Manhattan, NYC. I had my parent's basement filled with over 100 tanks, but I had to pay my part of the electric bill for lighting, filtration, heating, etc. I was able to net enough profit to cover expenses but I seriously doubt it pays to grow any veggies under artificial light, especially not with the cost of energy nowadays... in the '50s energy was cheap, a gallon of gasolene was like 10 cents, we heated with coal, a ton was 6 cents, I bought my first house in 1959, home heating oil cost 14 cents a gallon and I thought that was robbery. Now the price of energy is out of sight. I guess I'm a bit sensitive to energy costs because it was becoming too expensive to heat my house... so last year I put in a tankless on-demand hot water heater, a wonderful investment. And I converted from oil heat to propane, and added a ventless propane heater for the temperate periods, which also saves me from needing a generator during winter power outages... ventless propane heaters are fantastic... living in New England everyone should use one, they're 99% efficient, no heat goes up a chiney, and it enables me to turn off my boiler a month early spring time and turn my boiler on a month later in fall... and during a power outage it heats my entire house when it's well below freezing outside... no need to worry about pipes freezing.

  13. cwheat000 07/23/2013

    Miyako and Michelle thank you for the cool photos. It is always neat to see new ideas. I have to agree with Tractor, however. I don't know if it is as "green",as advertised. It definitely is cool looking, though. I also am concerned the flavor of the veggies would not be as good as growing them in the sunshine and rich soil of our farm belt. If I ever am in the airport , I would love to taste them out of curiosity. I am looking forward to more shots from Miyako.

  14. cwheat000 07/23/2013

    Tractor1, hooray for the first veggies of the season. I planted my squash really late this year, too. I am hoping to pick my first 2 zucchini tomorrow. I think I may have missed a lot of pests, however, that bothered my plants last year. Looks great!

  15. user-1020932 07/23/2013

    well, i'm LATE. very cool vegetable garden and the best part, it grabs peoples attention and makes them think about growing stuff. maybe they think "i can't do that but i can plant some things in my yard" . tractor1 and cwheat,,,i am covered up in cucumbers and bell peppers and tomatoes, wish you were more near and you would find bags of produce on your front steps

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