Who: Bryce Nagels, Founder Nutritower
Where: Montreal, Canada
Has owned a tower: 2 years.
Favourite things to grow: Lettuce, hot peppers, mint, basil
I love gardening. Some of the clearest memories I have as a kid are of my mom and I growing fresh vegetables in our back yard. We made and canned our own sauces and even produced pickles for the winter. This was a big deal to me and the tradition overflowed into my adult life.
Fast forward 30 some odd years – I find myself living in a medium sized apartment in Montreal, a large Canadian city. I specify Canada because we have a few key characteristics here, the predominant one being that we’re under the siege of winter about 7 months of the year! Combine that with very little access to outdoor space and my gardening habits suffered from what I could grow on my balcony.
I set out to design and build the nutritower because I wanted to change this for myself and many others. Of course I’m biased, but the nutritower has changed how I live. I now produce more vegetables at home than I have in the last decade.
The lights have also turned out to be an incredible energy booster. They perk me up when I get home in the dead of winter, after spending the entire day indoors. Add to that the burst of greenery from the growing plants and it’s been a very effective way of beating the winter blues.
Of course the main attraction of the Nutritower is what I designed it to do in the first place: produce delicious high quality food. I use mine mainly to grow lettuce and herbs. I’ve been having a lot of fun trying out different varieties of mint and basil in particular. The lettuce is bountiful, once it hits a certain size. I’ve also had good success growing hot peppers; I love to make my own hot sauce and they’re great in pasta dishes. I try to keep a decent rotation so I always have at least 4-5 plants ready to harvest at any time.
All in all, building the tower has allowed me to continue my passion for gardening despite change in seasons and constraints on space. Owning a tower may not yet replace the need for the grocery store, but it certainly adds a lot to my city life. I genuinely hope it can do to many others what it has done to me: bring a taste of the outdoors to my own home.