I Heart My Garden Tower

Faithful readers of this blog will remember last year’s midseason efforts with a new gardening technology. Due to some missteps and a late start, I had pretty low yields. But this spring the Garden Tower Project, offering a vertical garden design with worm composting right in the tower, is my best friend.

I’m following the instructions this time and fertilizing with organic fish emulsion till my worms get going, and I can already tell a big difference.

I sowed radish and beet seeds in the top of the Tower over a month ago, and it was so exciting when they sprouted.

I sowed radish and beet seeds in the top of the Tower over a month ago, and it was so exciting when they sprouted.

In late March I bought starts from two of my favorite farmers at the winter farmers market, Stout’s Melody Acres and KG Acres.

Sweet little chard seedling in one of the pockets.

Sweet little chard seedling in one of the pockets.

This year I’m not asking each pocket to hold more than one plant (last year I was loath to thin my babies, resulting in spindly, sad specimens).

Beautiful lettuce (before I thinned).

Beautiful lettuce (actually two plants, before I thinned).

Soon I was able to eat my thinnings. Just last week, I harvested a bumper crop of radishes.

And the radishes are still coming!

And the radishes are still coming!

This week I’ve made my salads solely from my own garden (with a few foraged weeds for good measure), and I’ve begun snipping kale leaves to use in green smoothies.

top

More radishes on the way. And here come the beets! I will probably slip a tomato or pepper plant in here before too long.

Here’s what my Garden Tower looked like before I started majorly harvesting a few days ago.

Still room for a cucumber or zucchini seeding on the bottom row. (Yes I do love my greens!)

Still room for a cucumber or zucchini seeding on the bottom row, where that one pea sprout is lagging behind.

And another view.

Yes I do love my greens-- of all kinds!

Yes I do love my greens– of all kinds!

I learned more about the Garden Tower Project when I wrote a piece on it for the May issue of Farm Indiana. I was impressed with the vision of the project’s three partners. For example, at some point in the future they hope to switch from a petroleum-based plastic to plant-based.

According to partner Joel Grant, the type of polyethylene used in the Tower is simple to produce from plant-based sources. “You can produce polyethylene nearly as easily as biodiesel,” the environmental scientist says. “It takes more processing but…in some countries people solely manufacture it out of plant products.”

For more on the Garden Tower Project, visit their webpage or see my story in Farm Indiana (navigate to page 24).

Now I’m off to saute up some chard and radish greens for dinner!

5 thoughts on “I Heart My Garden Tower

  1. Pingback: Adventures in Worm Composting | Shawndra Miller

  2. Pingback: Adventures in Worm Composting | Shawndra Miller | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  3. Pingback: The 100-Foot Salad | Shawndra Miller

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