The people behind the Tower Gardens claim it can produce fresh local food in half the time as conventional growing, with 90% less water and in 90% less space.
I have to admit that when it comes to the launch of new products in the green scene, I do rather enjoy seeing novel solar gizmos and gadgets, but I'm most excited when I see innovations designed to help more people grow their own food. And with all of the recent projects being launched in the urban farming space, it's starting to look as if joining the homegrown revolution is easier than ever before.
Of course, growing your own food is a bit more complicated than just adding water to an automated gardening device, but by lowering the barriers to entry for urban farming - even on the small scale - these new devices could get more hands in the soil (or in the soil-less growing medium, as it were) and put more local produce on the table.
One very exciting urban farming method uses vertical aeroponic gardens, dubbed Tower Gardens, to produce more food quicker, using less space and water (90% less, according to Future Growing), either as a single unit or with multiple units in a large-scale growing operation.
The Tower Gardens, which were developed by Tim Blank, a leading horticulture and aeroponics expert who got his start interning at the futuristic hydroponic gardens of Disney's EPCOT center, are now being used to efficiently grow food at a number of big venues, including Chicago's O'Hare airport, Giant Stadium, and the Google cafeteria. They're also being used by restaurants, and by the students of one of the heroes of the school gardening movement, the Green Bronx Machine's Stephen Ritz, to produce tens of thousands of pounds of locally grown produce in the South Bronx.
"This state-of-the-art vertical patented technology is the perfect solution for farming in an urban setting, using 90% less land and 90% less water. This technology also allows the grower to control all elements of food production, most importantly the quality and safety of the water. Our nutrient-dense living produce can be harvested in half the amount of time as traditional organic farming and requires a fraction of the amount of time to maintain (up to 50% less time) all without the use of any soil. Best of all, the Tower Garden eliminates the use of any harmful herbicides and pesticides." - LA Urban Farms