By Tracey Hall ~
Growing up in Bergen County, one of Karen Campi’s favorite memories was gardening with her family. That early exposure led to a lifetime of loving to grow healthy food and teaching her own family the value of knowing what goes into the food you eat. After they retired, Karen’s parents were unable to have a full garden anymore. This began a search for a way they still could enjoy healthy homegrown food and eventually led to the Tower Garden.
Tower Gardens are vertical, aeroponic and self-sustaining growing containers that enable anyone to grow fresh greens anywhere and during any season! Karen’s three sons took to this immediately and became invested in gardening and harvesting their own food.
Seeing the satisfaction her kids received from the Tower Garden, an idea took shape that other families, especially children would surely enjoy gardening too.
The concept of vertical farming without soil had been implemented years ago in Epcot Center, a part of Walt Disney World. Horticulturist, Tim Blank began his career there running and managing a 2-acre area of hydroponic greenhouses. In 2005, he left Disney to start his own company “Future Growing” where the Tower Garden was invented.
These gardens need only a small space to thrive and can grow up to 20 varieties of produce. Seeing the benefits, in 2016, Juice Plus acquired “Future Growing” and began it’s a quest to share this technology with households and businesses all over the world.
As a Healthy Living Ambassador with Juice Plus, Karen has been able to share the many benefits of growing your own food in a Tower Garden. Local nurseries stock the low-cost seedlings that are easy to maintain and harvest. The Tower Garden waters itself and is not in danger of animal or pest invasions.
One of the most satisfying partnerships that’s developed is with Monmouth Conservation Foundation. Encouraging “Kids For Conservation,” they have been able to get these sustainable gardens inside the classrooms! By utilizing grants, MCF had been able to supply 6 middle schools in Monmouth County with a Tower Garden in the 2018/2019 school year.
There will be 4 schools accepted into the program this round and MCF is accepting new applications with a deadline of September 30th, 2019. This includes underwriting the cost of 4 Tower Gardens into different classrooms. (http://www.monmouthconservation.org/tower-gardens)
Finding her passion for gardening at an early age, Karen is now able to share that passion to virtually anyone. She believes when children take part in the planting and harvesting of their food, they are more inclined to eat what they pick and benefit fully from the nutrition these plants offer. If you’d like to learn how you can start your own harvest in a Tower Garden, please contact Karen at: https://kcampi.towergarden.com/