Garden Tower Project Partners With NAVA On Traditional Healing Village
Bloomington, Ind. ---During a recent visit to Southern California, Garden Tower Project was contacted by NAVA about discussing a sustainable food and farming project for their community. Ted Tenorio, a decorated Vietnam Veteran and President of Native American Veteran’s Association (NAVA), shared his dream and inspiration with two partners of GTP, Joel Grant and Thomas Tlusty, at a Veteran’s Day Memorial Pow-Wow in South Gate, CA.
The GTP team learned of NAVA’s goal to create a Native American Healing Village and Community Urban Orchard where learning, planning and healthy living can take place. The village will serve Veteran[AR1] women and children who were victims of domestic violence and abuse, along with Veteran’s suffering from PTSD, whether Native American or not. The healing center will offer alternative methods for treating PTSD by assisting Vets dealing with the effects of trauma, war, resultant PTSD and re-integration, through more traditional methods. NAVA’s project will be set up to teach farming, native crafts and business skills through volunteer efforts as a way to address the indigenous population’s need for skilled employment training.
NAVA has been granted 47 acres by Mayor W.H. “Bill” DeWitt, of South Gate CA, for a historically accurate educational and healing village on the banks of the Los Angeles River. The facility will be a re-creation of a traditional Tongva village complete with longhouse, roundhouse, sweat lodges and talking circles. The Tongva Nation was nearly obliterated during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Only seven families remain. Ted himself, hails from New Mexico and is a part of the Tiwa (pronounced Teg-wan) Nation. The village re-creation is being built out of respect and in memory of the Tongva Nation.
Native Americans have the highest representation of any ethnicity in all branches of the military since the founding of the United States. In the LA area, urban Indians outnumber reservation Indians. As of 2003, over 7,000 Native American Veterans were registered in West LA. Unemployment was 7.1 percent, higher than for any other ethnic group.
There will be no admission fee to the facility, as all NAVA events are free and staffed by volunteers. For the past 15 years NAVA has never charged a fee or accepted any government grants or funds, relying solely on donations and personal contributions. Ted refers to the operation of NAVA as an “Urban Sovereign Nation” who “takes care of themselves”. Until 2003, NAVA 501(c)19, was a military order. On Nov 10th, 2015, they gained approval to transition to a 501(c)3 which will allow them to pursue public grants and funding.
Ted revealed to the Garden Tower Project partners that he sees the Garden Tower 2 playing a pivotal role in the farming, education and healing aspects of the Native American Indian Healing Village. Tlusty, who couldn’t agree more, stated, “This is right in line with our concept of distributed agriculture and education being key for local health and economic resilience.” Grant added, “The efficiency, elegance, simplicity and productivity of the GT2 system, will lend itself well to the success of this program.”
The Garden Tower 2, is a patented, compact planter and vermicomposter that enables gardeners to grow up to 50 plants vertically and compactly inside a footprint of just 4 square feet. The new design easily rotates 360 degrees for optimal lighting and convenient watering. At the heart of each Garden Tower 2 is a perforated compost column that, with the simple addition of redworms, converts ordinary kitchen scraps to nourishing organic fertilizer.
In combining gardening with vermicomposting, the Garden Tower returns nutrients to the closed system, making it self-fertilizing. Vegetables thrive as the potting blend grows richer naturally over time. A nutrient collection drawer also allows the gardener to harvest compost “tea”, finished compost and worm castings, for easy recycling to the top of the Garden Tower to increase soil fertility. The Garden Tower can also support a much wider variety of large vegetables that cannot be grown in any other container type garden, including cabbages, broccoli, squash, zucchini, cucumber and melons. With supplemental lighting, the Garden Tower 2 can even be used indoors.
About Garden Tower Project LLC: A socially responsible business concept based in Bloomington, Ind. Garden Tower Project strives to ensure easy availability of fresh, organic food, particularly for people who lack access to growing space. Garden Tower Project has been recognized by the International Design Awards for excellence in Sustainable Living/Environmental Preservation. Garden Towers are now being used to grow food in all 50 states, throughout Canada and has distribution in Australia, UK, Japan & Germany.
PITTSBURGH, September 15, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Humanscale, Bureo, Owens Corning and Garden Tower Project have received Living Product certification for new and redesigned products that meet the high bar of the Living Product Challenge, that is, to design and manufacture products that function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. Turning inspiration into action, these forward-thinking companies were awarded new certifications at the second annual Living Product Expo, hosted by the International Living Future Institute September 13-15, 2016, in Pittsburgh. For more information, visit the website.
“These leading companies are writing a new chapter in industrial design and challenging the status quo when it comes to how products are designed, sourced and manufactured.” said James Connelly, Director of the Living Product Challenge for the Institute. “And, they are at the Living Product Expo to share and discover disruptive new ideas and technologies that are reshaping the materials landscape, accelerating the pace of transformation and making Living Products possible today.”
Garden Tower Project's Garden Tower 2 – Living Product Petal Certification for Water and Materials
Garden Tower is committed to socially-responsible practices at every level, and has a mission to help transform the face of gardening and food sustainability. The uniquely designed composting Garden Tower allows for the growing of a large variety of food in a very small space. The product has achieved Petal Certification for Water and Materials, and the company is currently implementing a new low-carbon, bio-based plastic, a first for its product category.
“Garden Tower’s social mission is just as critical to the company’s certification as is their material health and regenerative manufacturing innovations,” said James Connelly. “It is a great example of a new product that has the power to transform traditional industries.”
Humanscale Diffrient® Smart Chair -- Full Living Product certification
The Humanscale Smart® Chair is an ergonomically designed commercial desk chair that required a significant redesign on the path to Living Product Certification. Often, commercial office chairs are covered with fabrics that contain perfluorinated compounds. These chemicals, according to the National Institutes of Health, contribute to the body burden of toxicity and have a several year half-life, which means that the time it takes for the chemicals to leave the body can be several years. Humanscale has eliminated perfluorinated compounds from the redesigned Smart® Chair, which is manufactured in a solar powered facility with a newly installed rainwater collection system that offsets the water used in production.
Humanscale Float™ Table -- Full Living Product certification
The Float Table is an innovative sit/stand desk that 'floats' effortlessly when you push a small lever, contributing to an ergonomically superior sit/stand work experience. Humanscale removed PVC from the product—a material with significant lifecycle health concerns—and is working to ensure the remaining product ingredients are fully optimized and safe for humans and the environment. The product is manufactured in a process powered by 100% renewable energy onsite. “The lifecycle health benefits of using this product versus traditional tables is massively positive when compared to the potential health consequences of tradition design and production,” said Connelly.
“Both newly-certified Humanscale products are not only Net Positive for Water and Energy onsite – but we have conducted a rigorous LCA on each product and are now working to create Energy, Water and Carbon Handprints greater than the footprint of each product,” said Jane Abernethy, Humanscale’s sustainability officer. “We are increasing our handprint by switching to recycled nylon made from fishing nets from Bureo, teaming up with Kohler and an NGO to supply Clarity water filters, and providing water heater blankets to school children.” The practice of Handprinting refers to the measurement of positive impacts that a company makes compared to business as usual in addition to reducing their environmental footprint. More on the Humanscale achievement here.
Bureo – Net+Positiva Plastic -- Petal Certified for Water and Materials
Bureo is a unique company designed around the concept of net positive, and its first product was a skateboard made of recycled fishing nets from coastal artisanal fishing communities, which has been widely recognized for ingenuity in design and sourcing, with investors including the Patagonia $20 Million and Change Fund. Bureo has achieved Living Product Petal Certification for Water and Materials for its Net+Positiva Plastic, recycled plastic resin and pellets which they source from fishing nets, and which they intend to sell to other consumer goods companies to scale up their business.
“Bureo recently installed low flow shower heads in their production facility and is planning to distribute them in communities in which they work, which contributed to the Water Petal certification,” said Connelly. “Bureo is also investing in a solar array for a nearby community school for disadvantaged youth, which will contribute to the company’s full Living Product Certification.”
With EcoTouch® unfaced fiberglass insulation, Owens Corning achieves its second Living Product Imperative Certification for a product that reflects the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability. EcoTouch® is a residential and commercial insulation product that is certified to include a minimum of 65% total recycled content, and is GREENGUARD validated to be formaldehyde free.
“Owens Corning’s commitment to sustainability is embedded in the foundation of its product stewardship process,” said Connelly. “A core value of the company is developing products that make the world a better place.”
About the Living Product Challenge
The Living Product Challenge re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. The creation of this program kicked off a groundbreaking new event that brought together leading minds in the product industry to inspire a revolution in the way materials are designed, manufactured and delivered: the Living Product Expo.
At the first event in 2015 sustainability directors from the world’s leading design firms, prominent manufacturers and sustainability consultants learned about and shared game-changing innovations in product design.
This second annual event moves from inspiration to action. The Expo is an opportunity for participants to share and discover disruptive new ideas and technologies that are reshaping the materials landscape, accelerating the pace of innovation and making Living Products possible today. Join us, and together we will craft the future of materials.
About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is an inspiring hub for visionary programs. Our mission is to lead and support the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. Composed of leading green building experts and thought-leaders, the Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The Institute runs the Living Building Challenge, Living Community Challenge, Living Product Challenge, Net Zero Energy Certification, the Cascadia Green Building Council, Ecotone Publishing, Declare, JUST and other leading-edge programs. A global network of more than 450 volunteers across nearly 42 countries drive the local adoption of restorative principles in their communities.
At a gathering in 2010, two elderly farmers in bib overalls were presenting their work to create a food hub that distributed food to the local elementary schools. They talked about the challenges of having enough produce throughout the school year for the schools and competing with companies that shipped cheap food in from out of state. They also talked about growing up when everyone farmed iwth a horse and all of the food was local and organic. It's amazing what people can do when they decide they want something and are willing to work together for it.
"Denmark is the most developed country in the world when it comes to organic products and their trade with the world but that’s not what the Danish government is settling with. The government has raised a whooping 53 million euros in 2015 in an effort to turn the country into an organic country. This is probably the most ambitious plan of the century but considering the fact that Denmark has already proved it’s love for organic food, this seems to be achievable."
"Denmark is also way ahead of other countries in terms of producing organic food. The country’s national organic brand will be celebrating 25 years in business, which makes it one of the oldest organic brand in the world. As a result, the organic exports have increased by a whooping 200% since 2007."
Garden Tower Project’s newest creation was selected for its achievements in design, creativity, usability and innovation in a competition that examined over 1,000 entries from designers from 52 countries. This annual competition recognizes, honors and promotes legendary design visionaries and uncovers emerging talents in architecture, interior, product, graphic and fashion design.
"It's been a wonderful honor to be recognized by the international community for creating something that is meant to improve people's lives" said Colin Cudmore, the inventor/founder of the Garden Tower Project.
What is the International Design Award?
A handful of designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs created the International Design Awards in 2007 as a response to the lack of recognition and celebration for smart and sustainable multidisciplinary design. The International Design Awards (IDA) exists to recognize, celebrate and promote legendary design visionaries and to uncover emerging talent in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic, and Fashion Design. IDA aspires to draw attention to the iconoclasm of design world wide, conceptualizing and producing great work.
What’s so special about our design?
The Garden Tower 2 helps you grow food in places that were challenging, or impossible, before—flat rooftops, concrete slabs, and ordinary decks. Fertile soils, a way to compost kitchen scraps, efficient use of water, and nutrient-dense foods are among the benefits of using the Garden Towers.
Garden Tower 2, is a patented, space-saving planter and vermicomposter that enables gardeners to grow up to 50 plants (and maybe more) vertically and compactly inside a footprint of just 4 square feet. The new design easily rotates 360 degrees for optimal lighting and convenient watering. This means healthier plants and more growth over the long run, with less fuss for you.
In combining gardening with vermicomposting, the Garden Tower returns nutrients to the closed system, making it self-fertilizing. Vegetables thrive as the potting blend grows richer naturally over time. A nutrient collection drawer also allows the gardener to harvest compost “tea”, finished compost and worm castings, for easy recycling to the top of the Garden Tower to increase soil fertility. The Garden Tower can also support a much wider variety of large vegetables that cannot be grown in any other container type garden, including cabbages, broccoli, squash, zucchini, cucumber and melons. With supplemental lighting, the Garden Tower 2 can be used indoors.
When it comes to water, everyone is pleased to see how well the design is performing. Early users report water savings of 90 percent compared to traditional garden plots, because the exceedingly efficient design minimizes evaporation. This helps wherever you live, but is particularly critical in high-altitude and desert environments.
“Garden Tower 2 was created to make growing fresh, organic produce accessible to everyone in the most innovative, efficient and effective way possible,” said Joel Grant, Garden Tower Development & Technology manager. “We are honored to be recognized by the IDA for our design.”
- Become more informed about GMOs and how to purchase Non-GMO foods and products at the Non-GMO Project:
- See more at: http://www.gardentowerproject.com/resources/seed-and-plants/seeds#sthash.TLsVr0I2.dpuf
Finding objective news and data on the topic of Genetically Modified Organisms in our food supply is a challenge by any definition. This infographic published recently by the Huffington Post offers a visual summary of the status of GMO labeling laws around the world and the forces of influence at work on both sides. (click here to download the pdf version) To stay informed on the topic of GMOs and the USA please consider following and supporting: The Non-GMO Project and the Organic Consumers Association
by CristinaVanko. Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.
One of the most common ways people learn about Garden Towers is through the kind words of someone who either owns one, or knows a lot about them. Just last weekend one of our founders was walking around the local farmers market, only to hear two people next to him in line talking about the Garden Tower.
We're always looking for new ways to grow and to allow that growth to help others, which is why we are extremely excited to introduce the new Garden Tower Project Affiliate Program! Our affiliate program is a way for anyone who is excited to spread the word about Garden Towers to get rewarded for doing so (at the least) with the potential to build a highly successful business, given the proper amount of time and effort. The program is free to join, easy to sign-up, requires no inventory, and very little technical knowledge!
We've put together a comprehensive set of downloadable resources to help you succeed, including Business Cards, Fliers, Web Banners, Logos, Photo's, and more. Affiliates will be paid commissions on each Garden Tower sold, which we track by a custom coupon code (that you setup) and a unique link that can be shared electronically (via email, facebook, etc.). Additionally, we have a special phone line setup for affiliates on which we're available from Mon-Fri from 9 - 5 EST.
An affiliate-focused business model has a lean structure, and helps keep economic exchange local and within the power of individuals; -- which we prefer to a larger-scale model for growth where several middle-men are taking a cut. If you think becoming a Garden Tower Affiliate would be a a good fit, please fill out our application and get started right away! We've had a great week with our 'pilot' affiliates who are already generating sales and earning commissions. As always, feel free to share this post and opportunity with anyone else you may see fit!
We really appreciate all the support, and look forward to the promise this new program brings for The Garden Tower Project, our affiliates, and all those who are then able to grow healthy, local, organic food!
Last year Homes featured the Kickstarter launch of the Garden Tower, an innovative vertical gardening device made right here in Bloomington that enables up to 50 plants to be grown in a container with a footprint of only four square feet. The device is a food-grade recyclable plastic barrel with rows of openings along its sides, much like a larger version of a strawberry planter. Inside each Garden Tower is a perforated core in which redworms devour kitchen scraps, continually boosting the fertility of the soil inside the Tower.
The Garden Tower is perfect for those who lack garden space but do have a small patio, porch, driveway or balcony. Anyone with a Garden Tower can enjoy fresh salad greens, peppers, dwarf tomatoes, eggplant, bush beans, collards, kale, and even vines like cucumbers or squash.
“You can grow at least four times more food vertically than you can in a typical four-square foot garden space,” pointed out founder Colin Cudmore, who is deeply committed to food security, educational outreach and gardening accessibility for seniors. His goal is to provide Garden Towers at an affordable cost to schools, senior centers, and to non-profits that feed people — as well as to gardeners everywhere.
Garden Towers are now providing garden space on the rooftop at Middleway House and at Hilltop Garden and Nature Center. They will soon also be installed at Harmony School. Although the enterprise began as a garage-based enterprise, it will soon sign agreements with national distributors who plan to stock the device. But Colin wants to take the mission even further.
His goal is to build a handsome new Sustainability Center on the outskirts of Bloomington which will create 8 to 10 new jobs for the local economy. It will serve as company headquarters but will also provide space for hands-on demonstrations of the Garden Tower. Outside will be a drop-off point for leaves, grass clippings and organic wastes, all of which will be composted on-site. One or more adjacent greenhouses will contain numerous Garden Towers which people can use anytime — in other words, a compact, productive, year-round community garden.
The project’s second round of funding on Kickstarter has been enormously successful and reached its goal of $28,000 in less than a week. But because the campaign continues until March 10, the Project hopes to bring in many additional pledges for spring Garden Towers. Even a dollar pledge on Kickstarter.com will help the project gain visibility and connect with additional supporters.
“Our goal is to help communities achieve greater resilience, sustainability, economic and environmental health, partly through the transformation of those in need into empowered local citizens,” Colin finished. “And we’re starting in Bloomington!”