We're always on the lookout for new and innovative ways we and our readers can grow their own food and compost at home. So when we found out about the Garden Tower Project, we just knew we had to write about this amazing, eco- and socially-responsible company and its product. The Garden Tower was designed by three Indiana locals who shared a vision of enhancing the world through “easier gardening, healthier produce, and food security for all.”
THE FIRST GENERATION GARDEN TOWER
With its vertical design, the Garden Tower allows for those with limited gardening space, even as little as 4 square feet, to grow up to 50 plants anywhere there's adequate light, such as on decks, patios, rooftops, balconies, and sidewalks. Made from 100 percent recyclable food-grade plastic, the tower's design is completely self-contained. The Garden Tower protects plants in their own microclimate with commercially available potting soil that requires no weeding, tilling, or special preparation, and providing constant access to nutrient-dense, worm-activated compost water. All of this ‘compost tea' water that passes through the system, including run-off, is then recycled and poured back into the soil through a vermicompost tube. This process not only saves water, it grows larger crops.
According to the Garden Tower website, the product is “a uniquely viable solution for areas of the world where poor soil conditions, water scarcity, flooding, and drought contribute to chronic hunger.” The goal of the Garden Tower team is “to help people everywhere feed themselves healthy organic food, regardless of income.”
The Garden Tower requires virtually no maintenance after the soil, worms, and plants have been added, which is great news for at-home users. The result of this product's unique design is healthier and tastier vegetables and herbs, and more abundant flowers. The Garden Tower also utilizes kitchen vegetable scraps, as they produce nutrients through worm digestion and aerobic composting. This function gives apartment dwellers and those without yard space the ability to compost and reduce waste without buying actual kitchen composters.
THE NEXT GENERATION GARDEN TOWER
In addition to all the benefits and minimal work involved with the original, First Generation Garden Tower, the new model is also rotatable to allow gardeners the ability to tailor their plants' light exposure. In addition, the Next Generation Garden Tower's removable catch basin makes it easier for users to collect the ‘compost tea' that's used to fertilize the plants. The tube used to input your kitchen scraps now features a flared top for easier loading, and the tower itself comes with much wider legs to increase stability for placement on multiple surface types.
In order for this Next Generation Garden Tower to take the next step and to make it as affordable as possible, the Garden Tower team is asking for financial backers through Kickstarter. With proper funding, the company will have more control of its business practices and be able to make Garden Towers “available at cost or less to urban gardening programs, inner-city schools, prison programs, [and] women's shelters.”
ChasingGreen admires what the Garden Tower Project is doing to create sensible, sustainable, and healthy food systems. There is a lot of additional product and ordering information available at www.gardentowerproject.com. Likewise, you can visit www.kickstarter.com to make a pledge to support the Garden Tower Project!