Category Archives: Wellness

More Than Gardening

It’s easy to forget how blessed we are. Whether it’s as simple as having food to eat or great people to share it with, if you don’t actively appreciate all of life’s little blessings they go unaccounted.

Here at Living Towers, we like to count our blessings. One of those blessings is our High School Helpers.

The program began in 2014. For the last 2 years, the entire ESE class from Eustis High School has come out to Living Towers for a work day. They grow their own Tower Gardens at school so they look forward to a larger experience.

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They spend the day doing everything from planting lettuce and vegetable seeds to trimming and harvesting the produce. We decided that having smaller groups work regularly would offer more, educationally.

So for the last 3 months, we have had 4 students and a teacher’s aide come every Tuesday and Thursday to work for 2 hours. They learn every aspect of growing your own garden from seed to table. The skills they acquire are vast and varied.

They seed hundreds of plants, are in charge of watering the seedlings, plant new gardens, maintain the Towers by trimming and searching for pests, and clean and harvest the produce. They also bag the lettuce to be sent to the Food Banks.

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One of the biggest hits for the kids is our recycling system. Every leaf goes to a table, compost pile or to feed the cows; they love the cows!


The kids have now started their own gardening club at school. In January, they will also start selling the produce they are growing to learn more about the business end as well.

The entire experience has been wonderful, educational, but most of all: FUN FOR ALL!

The students appreciate the opportunity to learn valuable skills and we appreciate the help. Thank you Eustis High School for sharing your incredible students with us and to the teacher’s aids that assist with this wonderful program!

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Could Kale be Poisoning You?

Who doesn’t love Kale?  Well ok, it’s not everyone’s favorite but it sure is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. steamed kale has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Regular consumption has been linked to reducing at least five types of cancer, including: bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. It’s powerful compounds known as glucosinolates have even been found to regulate detoxification at the genetic level. And that’s not to mention its superfood status when it comes to other nutrients like vitamin K, A, calcium and a group of compounds known as flavonoids, of which kale has more than just about any other vegetable.kale-792988_1280

But, it can’t all be good, can it?In a recent blog known as “The Vegetable Detective” Todd Oppenheimer raised the concern that kale, even organic kale, while healthy in moderate amounts, could (at least in theory) be linked to thallium poisoning. He reported that Ernie Hubbard, a molecular biologist with a background in biochemistry and genetics in Marin County, California, found that a surprising number of his private practice clients reported the same symptoms: chronic fatigue, heart arrhythmias, skin and hair issues, neurological problems, foggy thinking, digestive troubles and gluten-sensitivity, to name a few. So when a company contacted him to test a detoxification product “ZNatural” it was developing to bind (or “chelate”) to toxins like heavy metals to eliminate them in the urine, he agreed.

Twenty clients agreed to try the product and Hubbard went to work testing their urine samples. High levels of the heavy metal thallium kept showing up. According to Oppenheimer, around the same time, Hubbard found a study that found cruciferous vegetables are excellent accumulators of heavy metals, including thallium. Cruciferous vegetables include: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, collard and mustard greens. While considering kale’s explosion in popularity, Hubbard reportedly made the link between kale and possible thallium toxicity.

Does that mean we should stop eating this nutrient dense superstar?  Of course not!  Grow it in a Tower Garden and you don’t have to worry about contaminated soil.

Kale: It’s what for dinner

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about? For a while there, people all over the country were sporting t-shirts with “Kale is the new beef” and “Kale, it’s what’s for dinner“.