Tag Archives: tower garden

New things…New adventures…joy

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We have our new house. No more apartment or laundry mat or lack of yard. We are now on nearly an acre! We have 3 peach trees, a pecan tree, a garden already plotted out and a chicken coop. Yes, a chicken coop. We are going to raise our own chickens. There are 4 for now and they’ve managed to make it 5 days in my care. Let’s hope we continue the streak. And they are soooo super cute.
Tower garden planting has begun again….20 plants have started their process as seeds and half have sprouted already. Yay! I’m looking forward to seeing the difference full sunshine makes this year. If you have one and want grow lights, Living Towers sells grow lights that attach to the tomato cage. A good friend has had a lot of success with those. I’d like to use them during the winter, so that I can grow my fresh produce all year long. Yum!

I have a lot of musings in mind to write about. There are so many topics of interest to me, stories I want to share. It may take me a little bit to get them going, but expect a variety ๐Ÿ™‚

Update: one sweet chick passed away. We ordered 3 more-they will be here by the end of the week.

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Musings and a recap

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I haven’t been on here in quite some time. Clearly ๐Ÿ™‚ But I have good reason….my oldest is out of school for the summer, we are buying a house and I am packing (sort of). So, now that we have gotten through my list of reasons for being absent-let’s move forward.

First a recap….it got so hot here this summer, with one day reaching 117 degrees, that my plants almost died. They all tuned brown. But I still harvested some tomatoes. The one at my daughter’s school did very well-once I killed 6 green tomato caterpillars. Ugh. After cutting off all of the dead branches and such, I noticed significant new growth from my plants today. That excites me!

Next, I gave up on making sourdough bread for now and will resume after we move with more kitchen space and time. Yay! So be sure to check in for those updates. I have been enjoying coconut flour immensely-it makes some excellent pancakes and for anyone doing the whole Paleo thing-it’s a nice chance to eat what feels like a carb ๐Ÿ™‚ It also makes to die for brownies-courtesy of the recipe on the back of the package.

Third, we’ve started drinking raw milk. It’s delicious. I haven’t been a milk drinker since my early teens because I didn’t care for the over-production of mucous. (eww). But I don’t have that problem with the raw stuff. I get it at a very reputable dairy here and am thrilled. It’s pretty inexpensive considering what I’m getting in health benefits. Did you know raw milk is a natural probiotic? Cool huh? And I made some butter with the raw cream, as well as whipped cream to dip strawberries in. Yum! I even tried to make my own yogurt with it-it was a little runny, but nothing a cheesecloth can’t fix.

And then last I want to mention GMO foods again. I have a few friends who are learning to eat better, think they are consuming healthy “clean” options, but in reality are not. The label “NATURAL” means absolutely nothing in manufacturing. It is not a regulated term and can be put on the front of any box, can, wrapper if that company thinks it can sell more under the natural label. I highly recommend the TRUE FOOD app for android or iPhone. It gives a list of brands by category that are non-GMO, and likely to be GMO. It gives a great frame of reference for shopping. Cereal grains, baking grains, etc tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Avoid those, buy organic. Most cereals and granola items have corn or soy products in them that are GMO. Know where your food comes from, ask questions. Grow your own, go to the local farmer’s market, join a CSA. You make a difference with your dollars.

Here is a list of resources for helpful info on what foods, brands, etc to consume:

True Food

Institute for Responsible Technology

Cornucopia Institute

Food Matters

It’s a JUNGLE!

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My tower garden is an official jungle now ๐Ÿ™‚ and it’s amazing! This thing grows like nobody’s business once it gets going! My tomato plants are 4 feet tall and branching off all over the place (thank goodness for a tomato cage!). We just harvested our first cucumber. There are people who have wondered if it would taste the same, especially since I’ve used grow lights. Well, I have to say…that was THE BEST, most delicious, perfect cucumber I have tasted in a long time. There are 8 more growing. And my tiny little watermelon that was the size of a marble is now bigger than a plum. Note: remember to always check the water levels! Mine got way too low and the plants got pretty wilted. They sprang back to life within 30 minutes of getting water again. Whew!

This has been the most fun growing experience I’ve ever had. And involves the least amount of back-breaking work. None. I’m going to start more seedlings and fill in a few of the empty holes in my tower and take some to my daughter’s school tower. I want them to be surprised when they get back in the fall ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tower Garden Update!!!

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So after 2 months, a little help and lots of love-our Tower Garden is flourishing! The tomato plants are getting so high, the cucumber plants are HUGE, the lettuce is catching up, the strawberries are coming along and the peppers are beautiful. We have about 8 teeny tiny cucumbers. I am so excited to see them all mature!
We ended up needing to purchase a couple grow lights. We are using a 1 foot square LED panel of red and blue lights. It works like a charm! There just wasn’t enough sunlight on the deck, but now things are looking great. There aren’t too many pests either. The best part is that I spend a total of 20 minutes a week tending to it and that is primarily to check the water level.
What a simple way to grow!
I also have learned some very interesting things about this Tower Garden. The plastic is food-safe and UV stabilized. This means that when sunlight hits it, it can’t pass through-so the plastic won’t break down and leach chemicals. It stays intact! It’s very strong-you could drop it onto concrete and it wouldn’t break. The tonic mineral solution is pure and perfect for all the plants in the Tower. Most hydroponics use multiple solutions for different stages of growth and different formulas for each type of plant. That’s a lot of bottles and gets expensive fast! The Tower Tonic is easy, safe, pure and inexpensive. The man behind all of this, Tim Blank, said he wanted to do it right from the start. I admire that.
In short, I absolutely LOVE this Tower and want to add more ๐Ÿ™‚ if you want more information-this website has some very helpful videos, info, pictures, etc here

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Vertical Gardening Update!

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We love growing things!

My ย Tower Garden…I love it! I am learning a few things from it too….sunlight is extremely important. So, I bought 2 grow lights….I’ll be sure and take some before and after pics. We also bought a snap together greenhouse and put it up last night. (when I say we I mean my husband put it up)

The Tower Garden that I set up at my daughter’s school is doing amazing and I will be taking pictures to post today. ย (they have full sunlight)

So, why all this talk of vertical gardening?? Well…I have always wanted to grow my own food, but I don’t have any land, I want something sustainable that isn’t going to use gallons and gallons of water and I want it to be fairly easy-because growing things hasn’t really been my forte. Last weekend I was at a phenomenal conference and one of the speakers was Dr. Dickson Despommier. He is a professor at Columbia University. He has a book called The VerticalFarm, which I intend to read very soon. He went through his talk explaining that within 20 years the vast majority of us will live in urban areas and that the population will be very close to 9 billion-how do we feed all these people and renew the land? Can we solve both questions? Very provocative stuff. The answer is yes. And the how is through vertical farming. Through hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics and the right lights….we can grow the food we need indoors, on rooftops, and in some places entire buildings are being devoted to vertical farms. Because if you can grow up, rather than out, you save on land. And through these systems you recycle the water and nutrients, so it’s more sustainable and less of a drain on natural resources. It’s brilliant and it’s not something in the far off future, but is happening right now. Projects are in place, systems are being put into place to make this a reality and it’s cutting edge, and it’s brilliant.

How does my Tower Garden fit into this? It’s a smaller, home version. I can grow at least 20 plants and more with extensions, its recycles all the water and nutrients, it’s low energy ย and could even be powered by solar panels. It’s amazing. So, if you are interested go check out Dr. Despommier and his bookย www.verticalfarm.com. Check out the tower garden site…Tower Garden.

I’m learning-I had to buy 2 new strawberry plants to replace the ones I started with, but they are doing great! And I bought a red beauty pepper plant to transplant into my tower.

*disclaimer-I sell these Towers because I 100% believe in the product and making good food more accessible to everyone.