Tag Archives: farm to table movement

The POWER of TOWER

Have you ever wondered what puts the POWER in the Patented Vertical Aeroponic Tower Garden® Technology?

Power of Tower 1st

I am often asked, “What is aeroponics?” Aeroponics is considered a hydroponic technique or method, so the process is a form of hydroponics.

Inside the Tower Chamber

Inside the tower chamber.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Aeroponics is simply defined as the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium.

The Tower Garden® growing chamber contains no soil or aggregate medium. Instead, the chamber is empty. It’s just roots and air between each irrigation cycle. The tumbling water during these irrigation cycles creates a fine mist, oxygenating the water and bathing the roots of each plant on its way down to the reservoir. This process is continuously repeated with each irrigation cycle, providing maximum amounts of fresh oxygen, water, and nutrients to the roots of the plants 24 hours a day.

The intelligent design of the Tower Garden® system produces extraordinary crops that grow much faster than they would in soil, producing bountiful harvests within weeks of being transplanted into the system.

Tower to Table in ten steps, farming made so simple anyone can do it!

Tower to table in ten steps . . . farming made so simple anyone can do it! (Click photo to enlarge)

One of the main purposes behind Future Growing®’s patented aeroponic design was to avoid clogging misters – which typically plagues traditional aeroponic growing systems – by utilizing high-flow aeroponics.

Another key benefit is the massive growing chamber for the roots. Because the plants’ roots do not run out of space, they continue to grow strong and healthy. There are commercial Tower Garden® farmers producing herb crops for several years now with plenty of room to go!

About our aeroponic plant food:

To achieve our mission of producing healthy food for people, we also developed an all-natural, stable, water-based ionic mineral solution to support the patented vertical aeroponic Tower Garden® technology.

With assistance from leading world experts in plant and human nutrition, we developed the proprietary Aeroponic Power-Gro® and the Tower Tonic® plant food we use today. Aeroponic Power-Gro® and the Tower Tonic® contains a wide range of specially-formulated ionic minerals and plant nutrients. It is the world’s first high-performance ionic mineral solution specifically designed for all types of food and flowering crops. The pH balanced blend of natural plant nutrients helps stimulate plants’ roots, flowers, fruits, and leaves.

Unlike conventional hydroponic fertilizers, the amazing Aeroponic Power-Gro® and the Tower Tonic® can be used to grow everything from gourmet lettuce and edible flowers to beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes. Healthy plants packed with nutrition help create healthy people.

Aeroponic Power-Gro® and the Tower Tonic® are also loaded with trace minerals that are essential to vibrant human health! Jake Kelly, a commercial rooftop Tower Garden® farmer in Southern California, recently grew a 3-foot aeroponic kale plant in a matter of weeks.

Left: 3 foot kale in a Tower Garden. Right: Jake delivers extraordinary aeroponic produce to market.

       Left: 3 foot kale in a Tower Garden.          Right: Jake delivers extraordinary aeroponic produce to market.

As you can see, our patented Tower Garden® system helps both large growers and smaller growers to develop highly flavorful, pesticide-free, and environmentally-friendly crops. Whether it is a commercial farm or a balcony in Manhattan, NY, the vertical aeroponic Tower Garden® is putting the POWER back into local food.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC

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Chef Emeril Lagasse Promotes Farm-To-Table, Visits a Future Growing Farm in Florida

Chef Emeril Lagasse became popular with TV audiences soon after “Emeril Live” began airing on the Food Network in 1997. The show was certainly popular in our family, partly because of Emeril’s humorous, down-to-earth personality, and partly because of his recipes, which the guys in my family have occasionally downloaded and attempted to re-create.

Besides his TV career, Emeril devotes his time and resources to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, a purpose close to my own heart, which is dedicated to mentoring and enabling young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances

Emeril is also an ardent supporter of the farm-to-table movement, which is not surprising. To use his words: “It ain’t rocket science.” Most of us have sampled “fresh” organic produce in the supermarket, only to discover it’s anything but fresh after being trucked thousands of miles and put in storage.

Katherine Grandey harvests locally grown basil at The GreenHouse

Katherine Grandey harvests locally grown basil at The GreenHouse in central Florida. (Click photo to enlarge)

That’s why we at Future Growing® believe “locally sourced” is an essential ingredient of “beyond organic” foods, and we noted with interest a recent “teaser” clip for an episode of “Emeril’s Florida”. “Farm-to-table is our focus,” Emeril proclaimed in the voiceover, so we made sure not to miss the episode when it aired on Feb 16.

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, Orlando, FL

In the second segment of the show, Emeril visited his restaurant, “Tchoup Chop”, which he launched near Universal Orlando in 2002. It turns out that The GreenHouse—a Future Growing® Tower Garden® installation operated by Katherine Grandey in central Florida—is a supplier of fresh greens for Tchoup Chop, and provides “some of the best produce in the area,” according to Emeril.

We at Future Growing® recognize the quality and volume of pesticide-free crops that The GreenHouse supplies to a number of Central Florida’s finest restaurants. It was our pleasure to get Katherine started in aeroponic farming, but we believe her success is due to her forward-thinking business strategy, as well as her focus on customer service.

When Emeril visited The GreenHouse, he noted that seasonal availability is not an issue for the operation, and marveled at the output of the relatively small installation (135,000 plants per year). During the episode, he explained that this type of production is made possible by the unique vertical design of the aeroponic Tower Gardens®.

Emeril Lagasse compliments Katherine Grandey on the quality of the food at The GreenHouse.

Chef Emeril Lagasse compliments Katherine Grandey on the quality of the food The GreenHouse is producing for area restaurants. (Click photo to enlarge)

“In many cases, she [Katherine] can turn crops around in two to three weeks. That’s pretty amazing,” Emeril commented. “She doesn’t use any pesticides or herbicides”. Importantly, Emeril pointed out how flavorful and delicious all the greens he tasted were. At the end of the segment, Emeril thanked Katherine for her time, and grinned as he told her: “I’m gonna have to take some of this with me.”

Emeril Lagasse samples mustard greens at The GreenHouse.

Chef Emeril Lagasse and Katherine Grandey sample mustard greens at The GreenHouse.
(Click photo to enlarge)

We’re grateful to Chef Emeril and other chefs across the country who have helped “farm-to-table” become mainstream. In combination with Future Growing’s® aeroponic technology, local sourcing has become a sustainable, “beyond organic” way to supply the nutritional needs of our planet. And to think all this can be done on 90% less land, using 90% less water, and using no harmful chemicals or herbicides—that is revolutionary!

For photos and additional information about The GreenHouse, click here.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC


Ready, Set, Go: Spring Is Coming To Connecticut

Future Growing® vertical aeroponic Tower Garden® farms range in size from 10-tower turnkey micro-farms to large-scale acreage located under controlled environment greenhouses. Because of the modular nature of the technology and extraordinary growing power of the system, we see our farms popping up in incredibly unique and diverse locations. The Iron Towers urban farm in Middletown, CT is certainly no exception!

Jessica Solé with freshly harvested “living” lettuce.

Iron Towers owner Jessica Solé with freshly harvested “living” lettuce. (Click photo to enlarge)

The Iron Scissors Salon and Spa underwent an extreme makeover in 2013. People passing by the salon couldn’t help but notice the large vertical garden—the first of its kind in Connecticut—in the salon’s front parking lot.

Owner Jessica Solé says the garden is an extension of her philosophy that clients should leave her establishment looking and feeling their best. “We’re very cutting-edge here, and wellness is a big trend,” Solé told the Middletown Press. “Our mission is to get people to feel their best, inside and out.”

“The growing system is cutting-edge also, using aeroponic Tower Gardens® to grow the plants instead of soil. The system was developed by Future Growing®, a company Tim Blank founded following his work at Disney’s exhibit on The Land at EPCOT Center Theme Park. The Tower Garden® is a completely self-contained system that can be used anywhere. Once plugged in, the unit recycles the water every 15 minutes, creating a soothing ‘waterfall’ sound effect. There are no weeds to deal with, and the system lends itself well to natural and ecological pest control. Iron Towers’ plants grow much quicker than they would if they were grown in soil,” Sole told the newspaper.

Jessica Solé with newly harvested “living” kale.

Jessica Solé with newly harvested “living” kale.
(Click photo to enlarge)

While most produce Americans consume produce that is contaminated with pesticides, Iron Towers does not use any pesticides in its operation. “We love to take lettuce right off the towers and feed our clients, knowing that they are eating high quality, chemical-free plants,” Solé said.

This spring, the Iron Scissors Tower Garden® farm is expected to start growing nearly 500 plants, including squash, hot peppers, tomatoes, mixed lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, zucchini, cucumbers, dill, basil, and arugula. The salon is expanding to offer counseling on health and nutrition, and installed a juice bar. Produce from the farm is available at a mini farmers’ market, and — in a first for the Tower Garden® — will be used in masks for the spa, and in salads for its clients.

The Iron Scissors staff,

The Iron Scissors “Tower Team”. (Click photo to enlarge)

The Iron Towers urban farm will be open in mid-April and will have fresh produce, seedlings, and gardening classes available throughout the spring and summer. Iron Towers Farm is located in front of the Iron Scissors Salon at 330 South Main Street in Middletown, CT. You can also call Iron Scissors at 860-344-8418.

Keep up the great work, Iron Towers!

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC


Future Growing® Hits a Home Run with Aeroponic Tower Garden® Farm!

Giants Garden

An artists’ rendering of the Giants Garden, a 3,000-square-foot organic garden slated to open this summer at AT&T Park. Believed to be the first of its kind at an American sports venue, the edible garden will supply produce for some of the parks’ concessions and serve as an open-air dining area and community classroom.
Image courtesy of EDG Design Group. (Click photo to enlarge)

Future Growing’s® Tower Gardens® are set to knock it out of the park this summer, when Giants Garden, a 3,000-square-foot vertical organic garden, opens at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Believed to be the first of its kind at an American sports venue, the edible garden will supply produce for some of the parks’ concessions and serve as an open-air dining area and community classroom.

The ballpark farm won’t be Future Growing’s® first foray into the record books. Leading the local food movement, Future Growing® has held the record of the “first of its kind in the world” farms for the past five years.

Step Up On Vine

2013: Former President Bill Clinton toured Step Up On Vine’s rooftop farm in Los Angeles. Future Growing® opened Step Up On Vine’s rooftop farm, the world’s first aeroponic rooftop farm featuring housing units for the homeless. Step Up On Vine is also the first “green” building with a rooftop aeroponic farm, helping it to qualify as LEED “Platinum” by the U.S. Green Building Council. (Click photos to enlarge)

Rouse's Supermarket

2012: Future Growing® opened Rouses Supermarket’s “Roots on the Rooftop” farm in New Orleans, the world’s first roof-to-supermarket aeroponic farm. (Click photo to enlarge)

O'Hare Urban Garden

2011: Future Growing® opened O’Hare Urban Garden at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the world’s first aeroponic farm inside an airport terminal. All of the Tower Garden® produce from the O’Hare Urban Garden is hand-delivered to the airport’s eateries and the O’Hare Farmers Market inside the terminal. (Click photo to enlarge)

Bell Book & Candle rooftop

2010: Future Growing® opened Manhattan’s first roof-to-table aeroponic farm for Chef John Mooney’s Bell Book & Candle eatery. (Click photo to enlarge)

Sky Growers

2009: Future Growing opened Sky Growers in Orlando, Florida, the world’s first certified “green” building with commercially-scaled aeroponics incorporated onto the rooftop. (Click photo to enlarge)

You can learn about each of these record-setting projects and more at www.FutureGrowing.com.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC

Major Employment Opportunity: Future Growing And Associates To Hire Over 250 In 2014

Over the past decade, Future Growing® LLC has pioneered and led the modern urban farming movement, installing vertical aeroponic food farms utilizing patented Tower Garden® technology across North America. With more than 100 successful urban farms in the U.S. and Canada, Future Growing® leads the way in the local food growing movement, which has become a mainstream trend.

Harvesting Lettuce

Harvesting lettuce at a Future Growing® Tower Garden® farm. (Click photo to enlarge)

Our philosophy is simple: In a world where land and resources are limited, we grow more food in less space by growing up instead of out, just like a modern city! By growing locally—right where food is consumed—we reduce our carbon footprint, employ local people, and produce chemical-free food that taste great, is extraordinarily fresh, and is highly nutritious!

Adjusting nutrient timing cycles at a Future Growing® Tower Garden® farm.

Adjusting nutrient timing cycles at a Future Growing® Tower Garden® farm. (Click photo to enlarge)

We are looking for talented, dedicated individuals who have the same passion that we do for the sustainable urban agriculture movement. Future Growing® and Future Growing® farms plan to fill a minimum of 250 positions in 2014, and more than 1,000 by the end of 2015.

Future Growing® is located in central Florida and will be filling several positions in that region. In addition, Future Growing’s® clients will be filling various farm positions from coast to coast. Please review the positions below and find the opportunity that suits you best!

Click here to visit Future Growing’s “Careers” page and to upload your cover letter and resumé. We look forward to having you on our team in 2014!

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC


Future Growing Positions In Central Florida:

  • Sales and development for vertical aeroponic farms (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • IT (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Marketing (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Horticulturists/Biologists (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Manufacturing and warehouse managers (Minimum 2 year degree, 2 years experience, and/or equivalent)
  • Manufacturing and warehouse laborers (Minimum 2 years experience)

Urban Farm Positions Across The US Utilizing Future Growing® Technology:

  • Professional growers (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Farm managers (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Greenhouse managers (Minimum 4 year degree, 2 years experience and/or equivalent)
  • Farm laborers (Minimum 2 years experience)

3 Organic Sprays That Kill Almost Every Garden Pest

Chemical free aeroponic produce.

Locally grown, chemical-free, aeroponic produce can be fun, clean, simple, and easy. (Click photo to enlarge)

As we leave this cold, bitter winter and move into spring, our outdoor Tower Garden® farmers begin preparing for the spring rush that is just around the corner.

Did you know that erratic weather patterns tend to create severe pest problems during the growing season when the natural balance of life is disturbed? With this in mind, I encourage you to be well prepared in advance this spring.

Below are three of my favorite organic sprays that have given our growers tremendous success — even in a place like Florida — during the warmer summer months! If you are a home gardener, you can use the same formulas to easily and safely control pests right in your own back yard!

Organic spray for many insects like aphids, mites, thrips, whiteflies, and other small insects:

This formula even serves as a mild fungicide. Mixing instructions follow:

  • Horticultural grade insecticidal soap, 1 tablespoon per gallon of water
  • Horticultural grade neem oil, 1 tablespoon per gallon of water
    • Mix everything well, and then continue to shake periodically during use.
    • Always spray in morning, before sunrise, or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight.
    • Spray plants liberally — soak them — and be sure to wet the undersides of leaves where the insects feed.
    • Discard old spray. Do not save!
    • Clean sprayer well after each use.

Organic spray for all worms or caterpillars:

  • 1 tablespoon per gallon of water (or label rate) of Bacillus thuringiensis (brand name Thuricide)
    • Follow instructions on label, and mix well.
    • Always spray in morning, before sunrise, or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight.
    • Spray plants liberally — soak them — and be sure to wet the undersides of leaves where worms or caterpillars feed.
    • Discard old spray. Do not save!
    • Clean sprayer well after each use.
  • Apply this formula when you first start seeing worms in the areas they are feeding.

Organic spray for leaf fungus like powdery mildew:

  • Potassium bicarbonate, or Mil-Stop brand. NOTE: Never use baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. Apply as follows:
  • Follow instructions on label, and mix well.
    • Always spray in morning, before sunrise, or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight.
    • Spray plants liberally. Soak the plants well.
    • Discard old spray. Do not save!
    • Clean sprayer well after each use.
  • Apply this formula once a week during light fungus season, or twice a week during heavy fungus season.

Whether you are a commercial farmer or a home gardener, these safe organic sprays are tried and true. Future Growing’s commercial farmers can find these and many other fine products at the Future Growing® Growers Store. For home gardeners, please visit the Tower Garden® Store and choose “Natural Pest Control” from the Products menu at the left side.

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC


How Tower Gardens Are Teaching Kids The Future Of Growing In Hawaii

Since 2006, Future Growing® has been partnering with the nation’s leading schools to create healthier lunches and hands-on science lessons. It’s gratifying to see Future Growing’s® aeroponic technology being welcomed by education, because we know firsthand how students of all ages benefit from learning to grow food in their schools. These kids will soon be the decision-makers of the 21st century, and will be faced with serious choices on managing our future supplies and quality of water, air, and soil.

Tim Blank visits the Tower Garden® farm at ’Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Future Growing LLC founder and CEO Tim Blank is pictured here with school children at Hawaii’s Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, on the campus of Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Click photo to enlarge)

On my recent trip to the Hawaiian Islands, I had a chance to share in and to implement the future of sustainable vertical aeroponic food production.

Wherever I travel in the U.S. today, it is an area where our fresh water supply is limited or almost gone, the water is contaminated, and land is expensive. Everyone is simply running out of space for agriculture, and Hawaii is no exception.

For over 1,000 years the Hawaiian people produced enough food to support an estimated population of 1 million. Today, 85 to 90 percent of Hawaii’s food is imported.

Mike Gabbard presents award to Future Growing founder and CEO Tim Blank.

Pictured here is Hawaii state senator Mike Gabbard presenting an award to Future Growing founder and CEO Tim Blank in Honululu on Feb. 10, 2014.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Our work in Hawaii has been so successful that during a state agriculture event, state senator Mike Gabbard presented an award to Tim Blank:

“The Senate of the State of Hawaii hereby honors and commends Tim Blank. Mahalo for putting your heart and soul into inspiring healthy living. You are instilling a new sense of belief and pride in our ability to grow our own nutritious food, which offers hope to people everywhere in the world. We wish you many more years of happiness and success in all your future endeavors.”

I was truly humbled by the thoughtful kindness provided to me by the Hawaiian people.

Tim Blank visits the Tower Garden® farm at ’Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

During Tim Blank’s visit to ’Iolani School in Honolulu, students pedal a stationary bike that operates a blender used to make fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Even more exciting was my trip to Hawaii’s Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership on the campus of Iolani School in Honolulu. Here I got to spend time with our nation’s youngest future leaders. During my tour of the school, it seemed that Tower Gardens® popped up around every corner and the school had engaged in radical growing behavior!

I was invited to share in a traditional Hawaiian Tower Garden® lunch, but it was anything but traditional.
Kids were harvesting their own salads and vegetables. Another group was pedaling a stationary bike that powered a blender making green smoothies! Wow! These kids are living beyond any green standards I have ever seen.

Tim Blank visits the Tower Garden® farm at ’Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Tim Blank, founder and CEO of Future Growing LLC, holds the class mascot, “Phytonutrient”, at ’Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Click photo to enlarge)

It got even better than that. During lunch, our mascot “Phytonutrient” (pictured at right, with Tim) was teaching all the children the importance of the colors in food, or phytonutrients, which only come from fresh fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients heal and protect our bodies from disease, they explained. At this school, science truly demonstrates that children who grow their own fruits and vegetables certantly eat more fruits and vegetables!

The Tower Garden® program has been so successful at the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership that we are now working to convert the school’s existing green roof into a massive Future Growing® aeroponic Tower Garden® farm. This will eliminate the need for ANY fresh fruits and vegetables to be shipped to the school!

Once installed, this farm will supply all-natural, sustainable produce, using 90 percent less water and 90 percent less land, and no chemicals. The produce will also be hyper-local: it will literally be walked from the roof to the school’s cafeteria, almost completely eliminating the carbon footprint of the school’s food supply chain.

Imagine a school that graduates locavores, carbon footprint experts, and professional hydroponic farmers. Keep up the great work and innovation, Hawaii!

Tim Blank
Founder and CEO, Future Growing® LLC