Here is a URL to a newspaper article about the school in Collingswood, Ontario, Canada learning how to have green thumbs using 6 Tower Gardens.
Here is a great posting from the Future Growing Blog about how Niels Thorlaksson has converted his backyard into a Tower Garden farm. Instead of watering grass he is now watering 100 Tower Gardens and growing food for his local community.
Steven Ritz is a school teacher in the South Bronx of New York City. Stephen has been working to teach his students and the community how to grow their own food in the South Bronx. Bob and I had the wonderful experience of listening to him as a speaker at the Juice Plus Leadership in Phoenix in April. Steven is just a bundle of energy! He has founded a non-profit organization Green Bronx Machine that has been turning vacant lots into community gardens and vacant buildings into Tower Garden Farms. This URL is a short video about what he is doing with the school children of the South Bronx.
Following is a list of various providers of plant starts for your Tower Garden. The plant starts are begun in the rock wool starting medium and are a couple of inches high when shipped via Post Office Priority Mail. When you receive the plant starts open the package at once and soak rock wool in distilled water. When planting the starts into your Tower Garden begin with a Tower Tonic Solution that is 50% of the normal strength. The new plants do not need the full strength Tonic for about another four weeks when they become bigger and are ready to absorb all of the nutrients. The following document was a hand out at a Tower Garden workshop I attended at the Juice Plus+ Leadership Conference in Phoenix.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi have confirmed what experienced Tower Gardeners everywhere already know: Tower Garden by Juice Plus+ yields more produce, more quickly than traditional soil-based gardening.
The researchers grew eight different vegetables and herbs – tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, squash, chard, green basil, parsley, and red kale – side-by-side, in Tower Gardens and in the soil. They planted both sets of crops on the same day, and also later harvested samples of healthy, mature crops on the same day for analysis. The total yield of each crop was calculated and compared between the field-grown plants and Tower Garden-grown plants.
The Tower Garden yielded substantially more produce in every single case, generating 30% more produce on average than the soil-based crops over the same time period. The yield improvement varied from 7% more in the case of cucumber to a 65% greater yield with red kale, as shown below:
Red kale 65% greater yield
Bell pepper 53% greater yield
Squash 50% greater yield
Cherry tomatoes 35% greater yield
Parsley 21% greater yield
Basil 19% greater yield
Chard 8% greater yield
Cucumber 7% greater yield
These yields just confirm what all experienced Tower Gardener’s already know: That the Tower Garden grows more fresh fruit and vegetables, faster, than traditional gardening. Study also confirmed that in many cases you can harvest and consume your fresh produce more times during each growing season, which allows Tower Garden to pay for itself even more quickly!
The access the full on line article just click on the following link: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/253875/
Come and see our Tower Gardens on display at the 2014 Seattle Vegfest
March 29 and 30th from 10 AM until 6 PM at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall. The Vegfest is a wonderful family activity for adults and children.
- Over 700 different food samples to try.
- Chefs from all over the country will be giving vegetarian cooking demonstrations.
- Learn the latest information about nutrition from medical doctors.
- Receive free health checks, and even artery scans. Limited availability – first come, first served.
- Special Kid’s Section where children can learn healthy habits while having fun; clowns, face painting and more.
Many people recognize the health and nutrition benefits of vegetarian food choices. The question is where do I start. Learn what to eat, what to buy and how to cook it at the Vegfest. This festival provides the support you need in a fun, family atmosphere to learn about the vegetarian lifestyle.
I have a Tower Garden inside of my greenhouse and it’s just going nuts! It grows faster than two people can eat! And we eat a green salad nearly every day form the Tower Garden. I give away greens to my friends! When I see the wilted so called fresh produce in the grocery store. I love my Tower Garden even more! And my home produce is organic!
Here is a picture taken the first of November when I first put my starts in the Tower Garden, The second, third and fourth pictures were taken today. You can see how they’ve grown. I’ve been picking every couple of days since the 3rd week of November. Our Thanksgiving Dinner included ample salad for five from our Tower Garden.
Tower Garden Urban Garden Strawberries
I picked the last of my strawberries from my Garden Tower November 15th.
Even though some of them were green, they were still sweeter than store bought ones!
I left the strawberry plants in the Tower Garden ports. I removed all undeveloped fruit so it wouldn’t develop botritis (that white sooty mold you see on decayed plant material).
To prepare the Tower Garden for the winter, I removed the pump from the reservoir and drained the Tower Tonic into a bucket. I reuse my Tower Tonic on my potted plants in my home and greenhouse. I cleaned the reservoir with mild dish soap and rinsed it well..
Next, I reassembled the Tower Garden. To keep the tower from being blown off the reservoir, I used two 1 1/2″ bolts with a washer on the top and bottom of the tower top platform to firmly secure it to the reservoir. I hand tighten the nuts to prevent any potential of cracking the food grade plastic the Tower Garden is made from. I’ve found it’s easier to use a square or hex nut instead of a wing nut. It’s too difficult to turn the wing nut in the limited space when removing them.
The last step was to cover my strawberries with a gardening material called Reemay. It’s a very fine material used to protect plants from frost in spring and fall, too much sun in the summer and to protect plants from flying and crawling insects. Reemay or other brand names can be purchased at good nursery supply stores. Reemay is comparable to using straw or leaves over strawberries that are grown in the soil to give them winter protection. I wrapped a double thickness of Reemay around the strawberries in the tower and secured it in three places with bungie cords.
Twenty eight lovely strawberry plants will be uncovered in mid April, 2014 to start growing their tasty berries again.
Click on the links below to read other blogs I have done about strawberries:
My Tower Garden had its first frost Tuesday night. I didn’t realize that it was going to get down to freezing!. When I got up on Wednesday morning Jack Frost had painted the whole outside with white sparkles! I ran outside to check my Tower Garden and found the leaves to be frozen. I feared that I had lost everything!
The sun came out and warmed up to the low 40′s. My Tower Garden is positioned on the South side of my house, the sunniest area. At 1 PM Bob turned the tower around for me so that the backside would also get direct sun, too. My plants just came right back as if nothing had happened. Amazing! So I trimmed leaves and made a lovely 100% organic salad for dinner.
Last night I put the Juice Plus Winter Protection Blanket over my Tower Garden. It was 26 degrees at 6:30 AM, and the frost was thicker this morning. My Tower Garden seems to be happy with no frost on the leaves and no frozen plants this morning. Happy, happy! Looks like I’ll be covering it every night. Don’t laugh, it’s not a missile!
From previous posts, you’ll recall that I have a submersible water heater in the reservoir and have wrapped the reservoir in commercial quality insulating bubble wrap to conserve on electricity. Click on the links below to go to these posts.
Urban Garden Potting Bench
For my birthday this year Bob built me a new potting bench out of cedar. He stained it for me so it matches our fence. Bob enclosed the back of the shelf’s so that pots and ‘stuff’ on them would be hidden. He originally planned to enclose the whole back, but I wanted an area open. Now I can see out and see my urban garden as I’m working.
It is lovely to have a working area that is all grouped together; greenhouse, garden shed, and potting table. Bob ran a water line and a yard hydrant so I would have water year round. No more dragging hoses!