We believe that food can be grown anywhere.
For the past two years, we have been asking ourselves what the world would look like if people grew their food at home. The answer was a healthier and more sustainable world. GreenTowers goal is to make this vision a reality, and our first step is by replacing everyday, single purpose furnishings with our multipurpose Living Furniture.
*Project Update* - The redesigned table works exactly same, we just changed the design to hide the corners of the aquarium and stand on four legs.
Living Furniture utilizes aquaponics, an agricultural technique first used by the Aztec empire to create floating "island gardens" called chinampas.
Aquaponics is a combination of fish farming (aquaculture) with soilless plant growth (hydroponics) and has been shown to increase crop yields while using 90% less water. Fish provide nutrients to the plants, and in return the plants act as a living filter that cleans the water. All you have to do is plant your seeds, and feed your fish - the Living Table cleans and waters itself!
The Living Table supports up to six freshwater ornamental fish, while allowing you to grow all types of produce. We suggest herbs, sprouts, leafy-greens, or household plants. Here are some of our favorites:
- Mint (Mentha)
- Basil (O. basilicum)
- Cilantro (C. sativum)
- Sage (S. officinalis)
- Arugula (E. sativa)
- Spinach (S. oleracea)
- Leaf Lettuces
- Alfalfa, Bean & Radish Sprouts
Design and specifications
The Living Table will be fully assembled and will include the following upon delivery.
- Solid cherry table (Height - 29 in. | Footprint - 16 in. x 15 in.)
- Glass or wood table top (36 in. x 24 in.)
Table garden (120 sq. in.)
- 10 gallon aquarium
- Plumbing and pump
- Recycled glass Growstones™ media
- Garden starter kit
- Aquarium light
What's not included?
- Water (Tap water will do! Just let it sit for a day to allow the chlorine to work its way out.)
- Fish (Pick your favorite freshwater fish from your local pet store.)
- Fish food (Consult with your local pet store on what kind of food will be best for your fish.)
How will we feed 9.5 billion people?
GreenTowers formed as a student-led research team addressing the global challenge of feeding 9.5 billion people by the year 2050. We designed and built a mobile aquaponic greenhouse dedicated to providing food access to inner-city areas around the world. This design allowed us to win funding from Penn State's Agricultural Springboard Competition, the Mechanical and Nuclear Innovation Challenge, and the Sustainability Institutes Reinvention Fund.
We pivoted around this experience to begin consulting and design services within the local area. By using our knowledge of aquaponics, engineering, and design we are able to bring fresh fish and produce into any location: interior or exterior, large or small.
In order to begin addressing the 21st century questions of global food supply and local food security, we must begin to shift how food itself is viewed.
We want to reconnect people to their food.
By supporting our campaign, you will join us on our mission of allowing everyone the opportunity to grow their own food.
Pick your reward, ask questions, and help spread the excitement of urban farming to your friends and family.
Throw your Seed Bombs into an abandoned lot, and watch as wildflowers grow. Engage others about local food by leaving "Start an urban garden. Start a conversation." flyers at your local supermarket, library, or community center. The flyers are made of seed paper, simply plant them and watch as they grow.
Combine the Guerrilla Gardening Kit with a GreenTowers T-Shirt, made from recycled water bottles and organic cotton!
This glass set will help remind you about local food every time you use them, turning your own table into a conversation piece.
Want to see a unique piece of Living Furniture in your home? Our designers will create a custom piece based off of your feedback and a picture that you send in at the end of the campaign.
Wood Top: Super Early Bird Special - $950
Glass Top: Super Early Bird Special - $1,100
Wood Top: Early Bird Special - $1,100
Wood Top: Discounted Price - $1,200
Glass Top: Early Bird Special - $1,250
Glass Top: Discounted Price - $1,350
We will fly you out to State College, PA to visit us at our home location. While here, we will take you on a tour of the Penn State campus, as well as aquaponic and local agricultural systems in the area. You will stay as a guest in the co.space, the home for changemakers.
Want to start your own large-scale aquaponic system but don't know where to begin? Our expert team will work with you to design and create your very own system, allowing you to grow your own food.
From our home, to yours.
Meet the team behind GreenTowers.
Dustin Betz | President and Plant Biologist
Mike Zaengle | Chief Design Officer and Architect
Jared Yarnall-Schane | Chief Operating Officer and Mechanical Engineer
Jon Gumble | Director of Research and Development and Horticulturalist
Daniel Collins | Chief Sales Officer and Industrial Engineer
Yaleh Asadi | Chief Financial Officer and Business Administrator
Our advisors and mentors:
Liz Kisenwether | Penn State Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director
Mark Gagnon | Penn State Agricultural Science Entrepreneur in Residence
Bob Beaury | Founder Xsalta, Past CEO of Broadband Networks, Inc.
Timothy Simpson | Penn State Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Christian Baum | Co-Founder of the co.space and New Leaf Initiative
Spud Marshall | Co-Founder of the co.space and New Leaf Initiative
Todd Erdley | President and CEO of Videon
Stephan Rountree | Manufacturer and Furniture Designer
Video by AnneLiese Nachman
Risks and challenges
Like many Kickstarter projects, there are risks and challenges we face that are part of bringing a product to market.
OUR TEAM, while young, has an extremely diverse set of skills and experiences, enough so that we are confident in starting a company after college, instead of taking architectural or engineering jobs. We are surrounding ourselves with mentors and advisers that range from CEO's of tech companies, to founder's of real estate companies, to the owner's of manufacturing facilities. Together we form a team of highly motivated and experienced innovators who know how to get things done.
TESTING of our product is happening before, during, and after the Kickstarter campaign. Changes will occur as we continue to refine our design, but they will only enhance your experience with the product.
MANUFACTURING of a new product is always a challenge, so to minimize that risk we are keeping our partners close to home. We have partnered with several local furniture manufacturers to build our system. We will be sourcing all of our materials, which means we won't have to get a plastic injection mold, keeping material purchases within the US. We are working with all of the large shipping companies to ensure that our product will get to you on time, in one piece, at a cost affordable to all of us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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