The revolutionary composting vertical food garden that transforms your kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer for fast, abundant growth
--- READ BELOW! (Very important update) ---
Good news from Garden Tower Project: an angel donor, who shares our commitment to food security across the planet, has promised us funding. Our path is clear: onward to the next generation Garden Tower and healthy, organic, home-grown food for everyone!
As we near the end of our Kickstarter campaign, we at Garden Tower Project want to thank all our pledgers and fans for the tremendous outpouring of support you have given us. Your faith in us has given us the clear message that this is something the world needs and wants now. A huge shout-out to Kickstarter too, for hosting us and being instrumental in our project's development. And to our angel donor, our gratitude is boundless.
We want to stay in touch. All pledgers will receive updates (not too many!) of our progress, and we encourage everybody else to sign up on our website “contact us” page to receive updates. The future looks bright for Garden Tower Project! Thanks again, and may your summer gardens be abundant! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Garden Tower is a 50-plant vertical container garden that transforms your kitchen scraps directly into organic fertilizer. This rapid internal worm-driven composting system, along with the Garden Tower’s low-evaporation design and other innovative features, creates incredibly healthy growing conditions. The result is considerably faster and more abundant veggie, flower, and herb growth than conventional gardening can offer. (See it in action!)
Handmade first-generation Garden Towers, pledge for the New Next-Generation Garden Tower (scroll down!)
The Garden Tower Project is a new, socially-responsible company begun here in Bloomington, Indiana by Colin Cudmore, Joel Grant, and Ramsay Harik. Together, we share a vision of a world enhanced by easier gardening, healthier produce, and food security for all. And we believe that the Garden Tower can play a big part in that.
The Garden Tower is perfect for gardeners of all sorts, especially the millions who lack access to land to start a garden, those with physical restrictions, and beginning gardeners. Anyone who is ready for a faster, easier way to grow food will love it. Absolutely no gardening experience is necessary. The design is elegant in its simplicity, and initial setup is straightforward and easy (click here to see how easy!).
With the Garden Tower there is nothing to plug in or re-order, as there often is with expensive hydroponic systems. Because of its vertical design, it can grow food anywhere there is adequate light. It’s perfect for decks, patios, rooftops, balconies, sidewalks, etc. etc. Plus, the Garden Tower is Made in Indiana!
NEXT-GENERATION GARDEN TOWERS--PLEDGE FOR ONE TO THE RIGHT! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
We at Garden Tower Project, along with several local Master Gardeners, have done extensive testing on our original design (see the original Garden Tower). The results have exceeded even our own expectations (testimonials). We have been so pleased with our testing that we have decided to make a new, improved model that can be produced quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Our goal is to help people everywhere feed themselves healthy organic food, regardless of income. Instead of the 1200-1500 average miles that produce travels to reach your plate, we say 10-15 feet makes a whole lot more sense.
Benefits of the Next Generation Garden Tower:
- a) Precision-molded of durable foodgrade plastic and UV stable to allow years of continuous use. Because the main body will be injection-molded of one solid piece, it can be shipped to you virtually fully assembled. It will come in natural-looking terracotta color.
- b) Easily rotates on its base to allow you to precisely determine the amount of sun all plants receive.
- c) Collecting the worm tea used to fertilize the plants will be easier with the removable catch basin.
- d) Removing the worm castings from the compost tube will be easier and neater. Pulling out the latch (gate) above the drawer opens the bottom of the compost tube, allowing worm castings to empty into the same basin used to collect the worm tea.
- e) The compost tube will have a flared top to make it easier to load your kitchen scraps.
- f) It will have much wider legs to increase stability on many types of surfaces.
At the Garden Tower Project we are passionate about healthy food for everyone. We believe in doing everything we can as a sustainable and responsible business to help those most in need. The Garden Tower is a uniquely viable solution for areas of the world where poor soil conditions, water scarcity, flooding and drought contribute to chronic hunger. This is because the Garden Tower creates its own self-contained ecosystem. It can be moved as needed, uses significantly less water than conventional gardening, and increases rather than depletes soil nutrients. And the several gallons of worm castings it produces annually can be used to help rejuvenate soil in gardens and fields outside the Garden Tower.
This is where you and Kickstarter come in. To finance the production of our new model will take a major injection of start-up capital. Our target price for the new tower is $190-200 (plus delivery), a very affordable price but possible only if we can raise the money for injection molds. Now that we have thoroughly tested our Garden Tower and have made some design changes to make it even easier to use, we’re ready to take our next big step. With manufacturers lined up, shipping in place, and a web presence to help people learn about our product, we arrive at Kickstarter.
With Kickstarter funding, we won’t be bound by the big bank/investor imperative to maximize profit margins. Instead, we can make our Towers as affordable as possible, with much more control of our business practices. Even more importantly, we need to maintain control of our company so that we can follow through on our commitment to making Garden Towers available at cost or less to urban gardening programs, inner-city schools, prison programs, women's shelters, anywhere the Garden Tower could really do some good.
This socially-responsible business model is a huge part of who we are and what we’re doing. In fact, we hope to join the many other Kickstarter businesses who are redefining what it means to do business in America.
(Joel Grant, Ramsay Harik, and Colin Cudmore with a first generation Tower)
So much is wrong with our food system today. But so much great work is being done to create a more sensible, sustainable, and healthy food system tomorrow. We at Garden Tower Project want to make a difference, and with your help, we will. THANK YOU!
Lots of additional information at www.gardentowerproject.com!
The Garden Tower grows a surprising number of vegetable and flower varieties. Here is a partial list of suggestions: VEGETABLES Amaranth (vegetable type), Arugula, Beans (Lima, bush, pole, shell, fava), Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Chicory, Collards, Cucumbers, Dandelion, Eggplant, Endive, Escarole, Gourds, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mesclun, Mustard Greens, Dwarf Okra, Peas, Peppers, Radicchio, Sorrel, Spinach, Squash,Strawberries, Tomatoes (note: vines such as squash and melons grow nicely from the bottom holes, trailing onto the ground).
HERBS Angelica, Anise Hyssop, Basil,Calendula, Catmint, Catnip, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro (Coriander), Dandelion, Dill, Echinacea (Coneflower), Feverfew, Flax, Garlic Chives, Goldenseal Hyssop, Lavender, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Milk Thistle, Mint, Nettle, Oregano, Parsley, Passion Flower, Pleurisy Root, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Saltwort, Savory, Shiso, Stevia, Thyme, Valerian, and Wormwood.
FLOWERS Edible Flowers: Calendula, Carthamus, Dianthus, , Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Salvia, and Violas. Ornamental Flowers: Ageratum, Amaranth, Ammi, Aster, Bells of Ireland, Bupleurum, Morning Glory, Nigella, Petunia, Phlox, Polygonum, Poppy, Ptilotus, Rudbeckia, Safflower, Salpiglossis, Sanvitalia, Scabiosa, Snapdragon, Stock, Strawflower, Sweet Peas, Verbena, Yarrow, and Zinnia.
Why is food healthier and tastier when grown in the Garden Tower? The Tower’s unique design supplies plants with abundant organic nutrients and micronutrients. Plants grown in friable, healthy soil boast improved natural resistance and, many believe, better flavor.
One of the best things about the Garden Tower is its ease of use. Once soil, worms, and plants are added, the Tower’s ideal growing conditions take over and require virtually no maintenance. Setup is simple and can be completed by anybody in very little time. A photo series demonstrating the initial setup and use is available on our website at: http://www.gardentowerproject.com/index.php/resources/setup
The Garden Tower is a BIG product and the second generation is intended to be a very HIGH quality product that will look and perform beautifully outside for a decade or two. Engineering and machining steel molds for injection molding its relatively large components is very expensive. In fact, durable molds made of steel will cost us over 200k. Also, consider that most of our pledges must cover the cost of manufacturing and distributing a Garden Tower to our backers, which means most of the money we receive from backers is already allocated to other tasks besides start-up requirements. If you have further questions or ideas, please write us.
With its unique design, the Tower provides steady nutrients and micronutrients in a healthy soil environment, maximizing growth potential. Plants grow rapidly and abundantly in the 50+ spaces per Tower.
Decidedly. Conditions for growth are optimal: healthy, loose soil; steady moisture and supply of nutrient-rich compost tea; controlled temperature (soil warms much faster in the spring than does garden soil), and easier protection from pests.
The rotatable Tower allows you to tailor your plants’ light reception as you choose. Plants can thus be brought out of the shade or returned to shade as needed. Interestingly, we have been pleasantly surprised by the consistent summer growth of plants on all sides of the first-generation (non-rotating) Garden Tower. The slanted light of spring and fall make it more necessary to rotate your Tower, however.
The Garden Tower is made from 100% recyclable food-grade plastic, BPA-free. We are currently exploring the availability of bio-plastics to further reduce our footprint.
There are a number of options available. Some gardeners prefer to create their own compost mix. For those purchasing soil mixes, we recommend organic varieties as the healthiest for both you and the worms. Suggested varieties are on the website under resources.
Either approach works fine, but starting with seedlings gets you growing sooner and allows you to select the strongest plants for your Tower.
We encourage you to purchase locally-adapted, non-GMO varieties. Heirloom and open-pollinated seeds are often the best choice. On our website under “Resources” we have links to some excellent seed suppliers.
If your plant selections will vary in size when full-grown, we recommend placing the larger plants toward the bottom. Best results occur when plant selections are more-or-less similar in size, but experimentation will teach you what works best for your needs. Creating high/low pattern based on the space requirements of each plants' foliage can maximize light availability.
Yes, but they can become hard to manage. Patio/container varieties, esp. cherry tomatoes, work best. Bamboo sticks and other supporting materials can be used easily in the openings of the Garden Tower.
The Garden Tower is remarkably water-conserving. In the event that plants get droopy and soil feels dry, it’s time to water. The Garden Tower is designed with infiltration and drainage in mind, so over-watering is unlikely.
It’s unlikely. The holes that drain both the compost tube and the Tower itself ensure that there is never standing water in your Garden Tower. Too much watering is never a good idea, as soggy roots don’t breathe, but unless you’re pouring buckets every day on your tower, this shouldn’t be a concern.
All veggie and fruit scraps (except citrus peelings), shredded newspaper or office paper, egg shells, but no other animal products.
On our website under “Resources” we recommend reliable sources of red wigglers and nightcrawlers, the two best varieties. They are also available at bait shops and many sporting goods stores. One large handful of worms does the trick.
Worm tea is water that has permeated wormcastings and compost and has dripped down to the collection drawer of the Garden Tower. It contains nutrients and micronutrients and has been shown to be an effective repellent for aphids and other noxious insects.
Pulling the latch above the drawer opens the bottom of the compost tube, allowing worm castings to empty into the drawer. You can then add the castings back into the Tower or spread them on other gardens.
A filled compost tube will generate about half a tube of quality castings in 2-3 months. As you add scraps to your tube, production will be ongoing.
They are an outstanding soil additive and should be returned to the Tower soil or other garden soil. This can be done once or twice a year, or more often, as you choose. It is easy to do, either by using the collection drawer at the bottom or scooping out castings from the top.
Quality soils, esp. organic ones, will become enriched over time thanks to the constant addition of worm-castings and the breakdown of organic matter such as old plant roots. If the soil in your Tower appears to be getting compacted, you can empty it and fluff it up or replace it, but in our experience that has not been necessary.
The new model Garden Tower is made from uv-resistant sturdy plastic that should offer 8-10 years of structural integrity in full exposure.
The Garden Tower’s simple design requires no maintenance.
This depends on the climate in your region, and on what you do with your Tower in the winter. Worms will easily survive mild winters deep in the compost tube, but severe prolonged cold will jeopardize their survival unless you protect your tower in a heated or protected garage. Another approach is to overwinter your worms in a basement--YouTube has plenty of instructional videos to teach you how.
Both the plastic and the worms will prefer protection indoors during cold winters, but the Garden Tower is sturdy enough to remain outdoors.
As with all Kickstarter projects, your credit card is only charged upon successful completion of the fundraising period. If the project does not meet its goal, your card is not charged.As with all Kickstarter projects, your credit card is only charged upon successful completion of the fundraising period. If the project does not meet its goal, your card is not charged.
As soon as possible once the Kickstarter campaign has ended. We are hoping to get Towers shipped as early as July.
Currently we are only able to ship to the U.S. and Canada, but that should change in the near future.
The next generation Garden Tower is approximately 46 inches in height, by 22 inches in diameter. Floor space required is less than 4 square feet. Dry and empty, the tower is about 28lbs. Planted weight varies significantly based on soil mixture and level of hydration.
pledged of $290,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 18, 2012.
Apr 19, 2012 - Jun 18, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Facebook “Garden Tower Project Supporter” badge, and regular email updates (photo, video, and written) tracking our progress as we bring the Tower to the people. Experience along with us the evolution of our groundbreaking project!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $20 or more
Attractive window decal or bumper sticker (“I support the Garden Tower Project” with logo) with previous rewards.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $35 or more
All previous rewards and one white Garden Tower Project t-shirt to let everybody know you are a fan and supporter of Garden Tower Project. T-shirts are organic cotton, high quality, custom-sized, and very stylish.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
All above rewards, except with TWO fun Garden Tower Project t-shirts, one for you and one for your gardening better half.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $100 or more
All above rewards (two t-shirts!), plus a quality hemp Garden Tower Project tote bag. Moreover, you can nominate a school or any other organization to receive Garden Towers for programs.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $245 or more
At this pledge level you will receive one next-generation Garden Tower including the cost of shipping to the lower 48. Towers will be shipped out in the order your pledge is received.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $245 or more
The LOCAL option! If you are in the neighborhood or a nearby region of Indiana, we will make your Garden Tower available for flexible local pickup (Bloomington, Indiana) with some added incentives – custom organic potting soil AND a batch of red wigglers and nightcrawlers, which means you’re all ready to plant!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $700 or more
You receive three next-generation Garden Towers or we will send three to a friend, school, or institution of your choice! (Lower 48 states) (We can suggest nominated programs).Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
You will be permanently listed on our website (with your permission) as an “angel contributor” whose significant support has enabled the Garden Tower Project to fulfill on our mission.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
You will be permanently listed with a short bio (with your permission) on our website as a “Founding Patron” of the Garden Tower Project who has made this important work possible.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012