The other night I had a dream about my childhood home in south Florida. I dreamed we went there and the current owners had let my mom’s garden become overrun with weeds. I felt so sad because we have such beautiful memories in that garden. I then asked the owners if I could have the garden since it’s so sentimental to me. Have you ever woken up from a dream and realized how bizarre it was? That was me. Obviously I can’t actually pick up this large soil garden with wooden beams, screen, and a fancy irrigation system…okay maybe it was just a hose with little holes in it (I will have to chat with my sister, the family memory keeper, for specifics). All this to say that the garden, if it exists today, is not going anywhere. However, this got me thinking about the joyful memories and strong life lessons my mom created for us with that garden.
Yesterday Payton and I harvested our own green beans and sugar snap peas to snack away on in the backyard. They were as crisp and juicy as I remember from my childhood. Not as crisp as the organic ones from the grocery store. Crisp like garden-fresh-didn’t take-3 weeks-to-get-to-us crisp! It makes my heart so full spending time outside bonding with her like that, and thinking about all the things I’ll teach her in the years to come using our aeroponics system.
This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve ever gardened. I have always valued clean eating, but honestly didn’t know the first thing about maintaining a garden. Besides, as home renters, I assumed my only option for growing food would be in ceramic pots. When I saw the tower garden I was instantly intrigued. Naturally, I had questions. If we were going to buy something like this, I had to be sure it was a good family investment. One that I could be successful with and easily save us money.
Here’s a look at my thought process….
Looks awesome! How does it work?
And straight from the experts I learned…
“1. Plants grow in a soilless medium called rockwool. You’ll start seedlings using the kit we ship with every Tower Garden (unless you decide to buy seedlings). And when your seedlings are ready—usually about three weeks after germination—you’ll plant them in your Tower Garden. Instead of soil, Tower Garden plants grow in a medium called rockwool, which provides plant roots with oxygen and consistent moisture, encouraging rapid, healthy growth.
2. The reservoir stores the plant nutrient solution. Tower Garden Mineral Blend, our proprietary plant food, powers Tower Garden. Containing the pure earth minerals essential to healthy plant development, the Mineral Blend provides an all-natural “shortcut” for plants, which typically must source nutrients from decomposing organic matter in soil. The result is greater nutrient uptake and superior growth for a range of plants. You’ll fill the 20-gallon reservoir at the base of your Tower Garden with a mixture of Mineral Blend and water.
3. The solution cascades down the Tower Garden, nourishing plants. A low-wattage, submersible pump in the reservoir pushes the nutrient solution to the top of the Tower Garden through a small central pipe. The nutrient solution then drips down the inside of the Tower Garden, evenly cascading over the exposed plant roots. A timer ensures this process repeats continuously—usually in 15-minute increments—to deliver the ideal amount of oxygen, water and nutrients to plants at the perfect time.
4. In a few weeks, plants are harvest‑ready! Aside from a few minor maintenance tasks, such as checking water levels and cleaning the pump filter, Tower Garden will take care of itself. And in just a few short weeks, you’ll be enjoying abundant homegrown produce, harvested at its peak (so you can be at yours).”
Click here for more information on how the Tower Garden works, and how it’s been allowing my family to grow 30% more, 3x faster, with 98% less water usage than a traditional soil garden!
That’s awesome! I wonder if I could make something like this…
Through my research, I found out that, unlike other garden fixtures using PVC pipes and other toxic materials, the Tower Gardens use a special plastic preventing them from leaching any chemicals. They use “virgin” ABS plastic (not made from any recycled plastic), are BPA-free, UV stable, naturally opaque, and FDA compliant and cleared for food content in US & Canada. So no, no I could not easily make this myself.
But I really don’t know anything about gardening in general…
This part was really exciting to me! When I bought my Tower Garden I was added to a secret Facebook group called “My Tower Garden Community”. Here, over 400 Tower Garden growers post pictures, ask questions, and help each other to be successful! I love having such a large support system standing behind me, and believe me when I say I take advantage of their experience and knowledge!
I’m in love! How much does it cost?
The Tower Garden is $45.25/month for 12 months and then lasts you a lifetime! When you buy your tower you get a complete growing system with everything you need to start gardening, right down to your seeds- no sneaky extra expenses! You can see a complete cost break down and place an order securely here like I did. My tower and all of it’s included supplies arrived in a few days, and took me under 30 minutes to set up… with a baby on my hip, none the less. Easy peasy!
So here we are, now 3 months in and I’m chatting everyone’s ears off about it! My favorite thing about our Tower Garden is how successful I’ve been with growing. David will make comments to me about how large our plants are getting, or how awesome it is when Payton and I go outside and cut off produce for dinner. This gives me such a sense of accomplishment and feeling of pride to be making the additional household contribution. It’s just an extra bonus that gardening with our tower really doesn’t require much of my time or energy!
Currently Payton and I are growing spinach, kale, 3 different varieties of tomato, basil, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, green beans, jalapeños (Daddy’s special request), bell peppers, bibb lettuce, romaine, celery, spring mix, happy rich broccoli, arugula, and watermelon! We’re able to grow pretty much any fruit, veggie, or herb we’d like though! You can see a complete list of the possibilities here.
A LITTLE FUN FACT FOR MY FELLOW DISNEY LOVERS: The developer behind the Tower Garden System is Tim Blank, Chief Horticulturist for The Land at Disney’s Epcot!
Shawna Martell, Natural Parenting Mami & First-Time Motherhood Contributing Columnist
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