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Tim Blank follows passion to bring vertical farming to everyone − the Tower Garden
“We’re dedicated to reintroducing healthy food to the American family,” inventor Tim Blank says, referring to his company Future Growing, LLC. Tim and his company are responsible for inventing Tower Garden, a vertical growing system created to make growing your own vegetables and healthy gardens accessible and easy for everyone.
For Tim Blank, “Living Life to the Plus+” meant pursuing a lifelong dream. Raised in a rural farm community in the western Dakotas, Tim Blank grew up loving “the land we all steward,” as he puts it. Combining a passion for both agriculture and science, he graduated in 1992 from Valencia College with a degree in horticulture and greenhouse management.
In 1993, Tim took the first step toward what was to become his life’s work when he was hired by Walt Disney World in Florida as an advanced intern at Epcot Center’s Living with the Land pavilion. Living with the Land takes visitors on a boat ride through the American plains, the rain forest, and the African desert. Through this journey, the ride explores how innovative technologies, such as vertical gardening permit more efficient food growth while preserving the environment. The ride culminates in a futuristic world of plants growing without soil − a world that quickly became Tim’s domain.
“The Living with the Land pavilion and I were a perfect match made in heaven,” Tim says. “After six months as an intern, I spent the next six years conducting research in every horticultural discipline imaginable – all in the controlled agricultural environment of The Land.”
Tim also served as a research liaison for the Department of Energy (DOE) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) partnerships with Walt Disney World. In 2000, he was offered and accepted the position of chief horticulturist and greenhouse manager of the Living with the Land pavilion. As greenhouse manager, he was responsible for four hydroponic bio domes over a two-acre area consisting of tropical, temperate, productive, and innovative greenhouses. As chief horticulturist, he also managed a team of scientists and advanced horticultural interns.
Tim co-authored several academic papers pertaining to the extensive collaborative research at The Land. He traveled in the U.S. and abroad, sharing the research being conducted at Disney, while also bringing back the latest horticultural technologies and concepts to The Land.
In 2005, Tim left Disney to launch a one-of-a kind company called Future Growing, where he still serves as president today. Tim’s dream? To bring the promise of vertical farming to commercial reality.
“At Future Growing, we developed a proprietary vertical growing system called Link to Tower Garden site Tower Garden,” he says. “It allows people to grow their own nutritious, tasty fruits and vegetables right outside their back doors (wherever they live) with a fraction of the effort, with a fraction of the land and water, and in a fraction of the time required by conventional gardening. We’re dedicated to reintroducing healthy food to the American family.”
Tim handed off responsibility for marketing the residential Tower Garden to Juice Plus+, allowing Future Growing to focus on larger-scale, commercial vertical growing projects such as the Tower Garden “Eco-Farm” at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
In addition to his responsibilities as president of Future Growing, LLC, Tim also serves as president of Green Earth Building Group, LLC, a company dedicated to creating green communities and commercial buildings that feed themselves.
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