28: Renata Chalmers on Tower Gardens
Renata saw the towers and started with three. She grew up gardening and farming. She had a farm and edible landscaping when she lived in Washington State. Then she moved to Arizona – Climate culture shock! After a couple of years, she gave up.
She no longer had the energy to do it well. Until last spring, when she walked into True Garden in Mesa, Arizona. And discovered the coolest things!
Tower gardens grow produce 30-40% faster.
What is a tower garden? What does a tower garden look like?
Vertical water-based gardening system, about 28 inches in diameter and uses 90% less water than a traditional garden.
There is a large bucket reservoir at the base, 2-½ feet across, like a gallon. There is a cylinder of plastic for plants to grow.
PLASTIC: Food-grade Polycarbonate with UV protection. The plastic does not leach into the food or get ruined in the sun.
Aeroponics: Vertical system. Aeration is going on. Oxygen is circulating around the roots.
Hydroponics: Horizontal system with roots sitting in water.
Tim blank worked with NASA to create good nutrition for the plant and good nutrition for the person consuming it. This is nutrient-dense produce.
Is the produce organic?
No it is not organic – Organic food is referring to the condition of the soil, not the condition of the produce/
The plants are actually “Beyond Organic” because there are no pesticides, etc.
Renata is growing green beans, sweet peas, tomato, herb, basil, kale, lettuce, mint, cucamelon, stevia, cabbage, broccoli, and red peppers.
How’s the taste?
It doesn’t taste like the grocery store – so much better. In the store, shipped, touched, and “old” 7-10 days old. Then it sits in our house.
First couple of months with tower garden.
She had a filter on her water. She was eating salads between week 2 and week 3.
Then the month of June came and things weren’t doing as well. Crusted salt built up.
There are a lot of salts in the water. When it gets hot, the water evaporates fast, leaving the solids behind.
She switched to reverse osmosis, and the difference was night and day.
Then the fall season came around with incredible growing weather.
SUCCESS & WHY
Helping others! She loves that her kids have tower gardens and are making their own smoothies.
What advice do you have?
Don’t be intimidated – Keep it simple. If you can grow a houseplant, inside or outside. Tower gardening is incredibly rewarding.
Parents can provide an educational opportunity. You need food on a daily basis. You can do this and grow healthy nutritious food.
You can have a tower garden in your living room, inside or outside.
To get your own tower garden visit:
Renata’s Phone: 480-633-0573
True Garden at University & Recker in Mesa.