Tag Archives: locally sourced

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


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