Venice resident grows own produce with aeroponic gardening system
By Haley Beyer
During the pandemic, people were faced with a shortage of food in stores. Venice resident Sasha Gary decided that she wasn’t going to let that hold her back from having access to food that was fresh, healthy and nutritious.
During World War I and II, families were running out of food so they began to grow their own. This was called victory gardening, which is also known as tower gardening. It also provided enough food to send to soldiers and resulted in improved morale because it allowed people at home to contribute to the war efforts.
Tower gardening is a 3-foot aeroponic system for indoor use that makes growing fresh produce convenient and even a little exciting! Gary has grown spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley, swiss chard, edible flowers and lettuce, and is looking to expand into basil, mint and thyme.
Basically, any kind of produce can be grown using this system. There is even the option for a bigger base for the system so it can handle the weight of watermelons, cantaloupe, and other dense fruits and vegetables.
“This changed my whole way of living,” Gray said. “I can provide myself with food for the rest of my life.”
The system stands up so it doesn’t take up as much room, which means the water must be shot up vertically then comes back down onto the plant. As a result, the system uses less water because it is constantly being recycled through the system. This technology works three times faster than regular gardening and requires less maintenance as well. The weeds still need to be pulled and the plant must still be provided with water and nutrients, though not as often as other plants.
It is less work and easier to do, making it ideal for older generations who still want to spend their time gardening. It can also benefit kids because they learn how to grow food.
“It encourages kids to eat healthy because they’ll be excited that they grew it on their own,” Gary said. They have come in handy for restaurants too because now they can grow their own ingredients. They do not have to rely on delivery and have no worry on the freshness of the meals they are serving.
Another benefit of tower gardening is that it helps to create a healthier environment in one’s home by providing oxygen.
To spread this knowledge, Gary was able to donate a system to Broadway Elementary, thanks to all the neighbors who contributed. The system came with a 30-week lesson plan for the kids to guide them through the process and help them work together. Gary is now a distributor of these systems.
“I think food should be accessible to everyone,” Gary said. “This is the way of the future.”
The system costs $550 without lights (for those that can keep the system in sunlight for most of the day) or $850 with lights. The program comes with hands-on coaching from Gary, a lesson plan, and the opportunity to join her Facebook group gardening club.
For more information and to purchase a system, visit sashagary.towergarden.com