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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Aeroponic Gardening

Feb 23, 2022 09:36PM ● By Tara Saksek



Several years ago it became evident that the world is shifting, instability is starting to creep in at various levels and uncertainty is growing.  Changes are occurring, and the dots no longer connect like they used to.

Artificial foods are now being developed. Much of our soil is depleted of nutrients, resulting in insufficient vitamins and minerals from basic foods that had fed and nourished generations in the past.

I decided it was time for my family to plant a garden of our own and learn how to become a bit more self-reliant. It was our first effort with that endeavor and it was quite a learning experience.

Like most people I knew, I always believed that I could just buy everything I needed and things would be good enough. Then I started to wonder if that was really the case. I wondered if it was time to pivot and shift our approach a bit.

What if the supply chain struggled? What if I could not get sufficient food for my family – either in quantity or quality? What if food became so expensive that we couldn’t afford most of what we needed? What if the research is right and one of the reasons we are becoming less healthy is because a majority of our food is grown in an agricultural process where the soil is depleted, chemicals are used, and the crop is not picked at vine ripeness?

We live in a small rural area in Pennsylvania. I’m a wife and the mom of 3 wonderful children. I have been in the medical field my entire adult life. I have a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and recently obtained my diploma as a Master Herbalist.

For me and my family, our shift in thinking began in 2017 when I fought hard to recover from Lyme disease. My thinking about medicine started to open to the possibility that there was more to learn about real wellness than what I was taught in nursing school.


In the spring of 2020, I went to the local store and bought vegetable plants to grow in our backyard. We were all excited as a family. Not only did we plan to grow healthy food for ourselves, but our children would take part and we would all learn together about healthy growing and sustainable living.

My husband and our youngest dug a modest 8x10 foot area to begin. We used compost and bought “vegetable soil” from the store and put a fence around the plot to keep vermin out. We watered it, fed it and waited patiently for it to grow.

After 3 months of effort, the plants were still alive, but they had not grown even a single inch. I was so disappointed. I dug everything up and gave it to my dad since he has a green thumb. I obviously did not. It was a lot harder than I thought. Feeling defeated, my family and I enjoyed my dad’s fresh grown produce that season.


The next spring, I saw a picture of a tall, thin vertical tower from which strawberries were overflowing from the holes in the side. The berries were huge and lush!

I shared the information with a friend and she was just as excited. Like me, she had never had success growing a garden even after several attempts. I thought the tower was intriguing and wondered if it could be my path to successfully growing something, after I had just recently failed with the garden.


I researched the Tower Garden and found that it was originally designed by NASA for use on the Space Station so astronauts could enjoy fresh, nutrient-dense foods while in space.

The tower system was created and developed by Tim Blank, who worked for Epcot and with NASA on the project for decades.  He designed the Tower Garden so anyone can enjoy growing their own food.

It is a vertical tower with a 30” diameter basin that holds 20 gallons of nutrient filled water, after mixing the water with a nutrient dense inorganic mineral blend.

The original Tower holds 20 dirt-free plants. Since the tower is above the ground and dirt-free, pests are less of a problem. The Tower Garden has a self-timing watering system and automatically waters itself with a fine mist that trickles down over each individual root, delivering and feeding nutrients to the root system.  The plants in the aeroponic system do not sit in water all the time therefore it allows for aeration of the roots just like it would in soil.

The only maintenance required is to fill the Tower when the water gets low and pour the measured nutrient blend into the water. Then you just allow the Tower Garden to do the rest.

Being in Pennsylvania and experiencing all seasons, I also have special grow lights so I can continue my growing indoors. When I take the Towers outside, I wash the entire unit and reassemble it, and repeat the same process when I bring it indoors for the winter. That’s it!


In my first spring and summer, I grew mini watermelons, cantaloupe, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, all sorts of lettuces and herbs. We never ate so much squash and zucchini in our lives before the Tower Garden.

I couldn’t believe that this girl who failed at vegetable gardening was capable of harvesting so much thanks to the Tower Garden.

Not only do we grow our own food year-round, but it is also a highly nutritious yield with a higher nutrient content than any produce we would normally buy locally.  What a WIN!

One indicator that food is dense with nutrients is that the colors pop! For example, the celery grown on my Tower Garden is a deep, lush forest green compared to the whitish green celery in a grocery store. Everything we eat off our Tower is also vine ripened.

Our 10-year-old has learned about botany and checks the water pH for me. Bucks Institute for Education partnered in designing a course curriculum for grades K-12 that is free and aligns with the CCCS and Next Generation Science Standards. We are currently in discussions with public school systems in the area on how to start their own Tower Garden projects.

Because of the Tower Garden, we have turned into successful green thumb gardeners and we don’t have to pay expensive produce prices at the store. The Tower Garden is what inspired my business, AeroponicAlchemist, LLC, where we grow our herbs aeroponically and organically. Because the aeroponic herbs are full of nutrients, our professionally curated herbal remedies have resulted in outstanding customer testimonies.


There’s nothing like a Tower Garden. For more information, visit  There you will find the school curriculums, questions and answers, blogs and a place to order a tower garden system that fits your needs.

The Tower Garden is not just for someone who has failed at gardening.  If you don’t have time to care for a garden, or have no room for a garden, or perhaps you have physical challenges, you too can find success and enjoy produce straight off of your own Tower Garden.

Family farms, community farms and urban farms are popping up all over the world because of the insight of NASA, Epcot and Tim Blank. There is no need to pay high prices. There is no need to worry about supply chains. There is no need to worry about missing vitamins and minerals in your food. There is no need to worry about artificial produce.

The possibilities of the Tower Garden are endless! It’s a no mess, no fuss way to grow your fruits, veggies and herbs and you can do it too!

Tara Saksek, a master herbalist and registered nurse, is the founder of AeroponicAlchemist LLC, located in Halifax. For more information and to shop for a variety of aeroponically and organically sourced herbal remedies, visit

This article is a sponsored advertorial, based on a compilation from the author’s blog posts. The Tower Garden website referenced in the article is an affiliate site and any purchase from that website may result in a commission to the author.