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Northwest Colorado Food Coalition: Growing for those in need

Andy Kennedy
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This has been a tough year. I’m grateful for this community, and for all we lean in to do for each other during tough years like this one.

At Tower Garden, we’re always looking for ways to give back; we’ve donated a Tower Garden grow system to every Boys & Girls Club in the U.S., including ours here in Steamboat, we’ve created curriculum and grant programs for schools, and we’ve established tower farms in food deserts and underprivileged communities.

Two years ago, through a generous private donor, four Tower Gardens were purchased for the LiftUp of Routt County Food Bank. However, without the space in the winter to grow on these towers, these food-producing systems are sitting idle.



Jennifer Kerr at Ski Town Physical Therapy has been growing on the partnership-tower for the past seven weeks, and with the recent restrictions for COVID-19 in place, has decided to donate the produce grown on this Tower Garden to LiftUp to help those in need.

Growing for those in need is easy with the Tower Garden. Its low-cost system uses less water, energy, space and time than traditional gardening does. It grows three times faster, and the produce is more nutrient dense, meaning more bang for its buck.



We are looking for help.

All four Towers at LiftUp need placement for winter. There’s no cost to the host other than electricity and minimal water — about 20 gallons per month for the first month and 30 gallons for the second and third months. These towers don’t have lighting systems, so a south-facing, sunny window is necessary for optimal growth. Lighting system loaners are welcome as well. Anyone who starts seeds indoors, we’d only need to borrow lights through April when we can place the towers back outside in LiftUp’s greenhouse.

In addition, I am always looking for hosts for our rotating community tower. This Tower Garden has been at many small business locations throughout town including Thrival Mode Chiropractic, Replenish IV Therapies, Young Tracks Preschool, Montessori School and Sundance Yoga Studio. All it needs is about a 3-foot diameter space and access to water and an electrical outlet.

The partnership we have through the community tower is a mutually great one, and we end the “season” with each host with a healthy harvest event. Through this next season, I’d like to continue to donate the food from the community tower to LiftUp as well.

If you have space to host a tower for 12 to 14 weeks, please reach out to me at 970-846-9256 or andyjkennedy@gmail.com.


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