My son, Colin Cudmore, has invented a low-tech, efficient, self-fertilizing product that will go a long way towards ensuring that parents of children who live in inner cities, in deserts and other difficult environments, can grow and eat their own sustainable, quickly growing, nutritious, non-GMO, organic, easy to raise, needing-very-little-water — vegetables. If Colin and his partners are able to raise enough money to pay for the start-up costs for manufacturing the product, then they will be able to sell it much more cheaply than if they have to make each one by hand.
And of course, if you have bad knees or a bad back or are otherwise finding it difficult to grope about in the dirt, if you are old like me and don’t want to spend all your time figuring out how grow your garden, if you want a fool-proof, highly efficient — in terms of space, time, outside inputs and energy use — way to grow food, the Garden Tower is for you.
Plus, food grows about 30% faster in the Garden Tower, since it keeps on concentrating nutrients.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS MIGHTY LITTLE PROJECT! LET’S MAKE IT GO VIRAL ON KICKSTARTER! 44 DAYS LEFT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Here’s local support they received just this morning from the Herald-Times.
May 5, 2012
The Garden Tower Project, headed by three partners, hopes to take organic gardening to new heights.
The Garden Tower has features that gardeners will immediately appreciate. Each cylindrical growing container accommodates fifty plants but requires only four square feet of surface. Raised gardening is easy on bad knees and backs, and best of all there’s no weeding.
Each Tower incorporates built-in worm composting. The core of each tower is a perforated column into which kitchen scraps are placed. Inside, red wrigglers leave nutrient-rich worm castings in their wake. A drain at the bottom allows the owner to capture the “worm tea” and pour it again in at the top. Over time, the potting mix becomes increasingly rich in organic nutrients.
“There are other tower-type gardens available out there, but this is the only system that produces its own worm tea,” said Joel Grant, an environmental scientist and one of the project’s three partners.
“This is container gardening with a mission,” said Ramsay Harik, teacher and writer who is also a partner. “The Garden Tower is for gardeners who want an enhanced, easy gardening experience but also for people who need improved food security in their lives, such as city dwellers around the world whose gardening options are extremely limited.”
The Garden Tower is the brainchild of Colin Cudmore. After attending a presentation by Will Allen, national leader in the urban agriculture movement, Colin became so inspired that he spent months researching a method by which the greatest number of people might grow their own organic food.
“I tried to see what successful gardeners were doing, and pulled all the good ideas together,” Colin explained. He adopted the methods of John Evans, the Alaskan gardener who has won seven Guinness World Records for growing gigantic vegetables in raised beds with regular applications of compost tea.
The warm, nutritious soil inside a Garden Tower hastens plant growth. The Tower at Willie Streeter Community Garden was planted only seven weeks ago but is already dense with harvestable lettuce, kale, collards, chard, broccoli and flowers.
Early prototypes were made of food-grade plastic bins with openings for each plant laboriously cut by hand with a gas torch; but this was too labor-intensive.
“We don’t want this to be something that only rich people can afford,” Colin emphasized. “Because the design is low-evaporation and concentrates its nutrients, it could potentially be used in sub-Saharan Africa or other places where people need to grow food with fewer resources.”
The three partners have launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $290,000, which will enable them to mass-produce an improved (and affordable) injection-molded version of the Garden Tower here in Indiana.
“Online, you can buy a hydroponic gardening tower with all kinds of pumps and lights and a high carbon footprint for $500,” said Colin, “and it holds only 25 plants. Ours will cost $190 and holds 50 plants.”
Supporters can pledge any amount they wish. At the $245 reward level, pledgers receive a new Garden Tower including shipping or local pickup with added incentives. If the Kickstarter drive fails to reach its full goal, pledgers pay nothing.
“The Kickstarter campaign ends June 18,” Colin emphasized. “The idea is to get our costs down and make the Garden Tower really affordable. With Kickstarter we’ll offer national shipping along with local pick-up for people who want our included custom soil mix and the worms.”
He summed up: “We need all the help we can on Kickstarter. Any donation will help.”
See Garden Towers in action at Bloomingfoods East, Willie Streeter Gardens and Roots Restaurant. “Like” the Garden Tower Project on Facebook. In depth information and pre-ordering directions available atwww.gardentowerproject.com. At Kickstarter.com, search “Garden Tower Project” to pledge. “Homes” will carry updates on the campaign.
Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012