Thursday, November 17, 2016

What If...

Campaign Promo #1

Campaign Promo #2

Join Facebook Event: Tower Farms Campaign

“For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.” - Cornel West

This is a Worldwide, Online, Non-Profit Campaign to gather support for a fundraiser launching New Years. The event is sponsored by Red Giant Union which is a public charity invested in local food systems. 

Our Goal is to build a not-for-profit Tower Farm

Listen to the waterfall-like trickle of vertical aeroponic towers growing bounties of fresh chemical-free veggies and herbs while eating and/or studying. Live music, too. The Lafayette, IN community will have a place to enjoy Tower-to-Table salads, juices, and kombucha. The Tower Farm will also be a spotlight for urban agriculture education and the movement as it grows around the country. There is potential for a summer camp for kids (vertical farming and food/cooking). Ultimately, revenue from healthy eating and holistic grassroots empowerment will build our local food infrastructure!

Our project is environmentally conscious insofar as we are farming with 90% less water on 90% less land, while producing 30% greater yield in 25% less time - all with no soil and no chemicals! 

Wondering where this may be located? The Bison Building across from the Bus Depot in Lafayette, IN is available for us. We've measured it out and determined that's the best location. Accessible to the entire community!

Why this campaign? Because we don't want corporations taking control of our food. This is our opportunity for the community to build this vision.

Revenue from this farm will assist in the building of local food systems. Further development will fund a network of not-for-profit farms serving the same function worldwide. 

Campaign Hosts
Promoters of Fundraiser launching Jan 2, 2017

Austin Kasso (Founder, Executive Director) @ RGU

Josh Kinzler (Vice Executive Director) @ RGU
Benjamin Yin (CA Chapter Director) @ RGU
Sankalp Prakash (President of R&D) @ RGU
Mars Diaz (Volunteer Recruiting) @ RGU

Randy Julian (Promoter) @ RGU
Trevor Thomas (Promoter) @ RGU

Jennifer Kalled @ Kalled Jewelry Studio
Stacy Bogan @ Paint Party Ivan Stoikov @ Saved By a Book
Matalyn Aldridge @ Dj MERKs
Casey Ross @ Catalyst Repertory
Tenecia Waddell @ RiseUp - Empowerment Movement
Scott McKay @ Indiana Hemp Industries Association
Fjorida Panxhi @ 4outof7-food-gardening-housing-and-thriving
Anxhela Panxhi @ 

Titus M. Hanna @ Heirloom Lafayette
Amy Greeson @ Healing Seekers
Train Scholar @ TMIradio

Brandon Reed @ 50SixFeet
Antonio Saillant @ Green360 Rock It Green
Jason Liebman @ Liebsmedia

Maddie Turkupolis @ Purdue University - Horticulture
Carmen Octavio @ Purdue University

Jessica Ingram
Samantha Ann
Dustin French
Noah Shoaf

Jayson Wolf
Abba Ras Anabena Tafari

Nicholas Williams
Christopher Lehman
Candice Henderson
Aerial Jelley
Crystal Parker
John Kuba
Ryan Terry

Chelsey Walters
Christopher Benitez
Brent Watson
Brett Hall
Patrick Antione Gibson
Kirsten Oxbury
Wilma Gregory
Erica Eades
Sierra Hutchens
Victoria Fierek
Andrew Michael Samis
Jeff Gillem
Brady Compton
Eliana Maharani
Dan Jongsma
Seamus Lavignette
Trevor Thomas
Mir Hamza Mahmood
Joseph Garza
Dawn Elizabeth Boyd
Teflon Von
Scott Flyn
Jeneca Holland
Susan Long
Codie Rodgers
Lux Kasso
Charlie Arnold
Veronica Quitalo
Chantal Ross
Deena Matthews
Jen McGrath
Justin Ha
Adam Hodges
Joseph Spivey
Colby Kennedy
Alec Gerard Horngren
(Updated 12/5/2016)

This is our movement. 

We'd like you to be a part of it. If you're willing, we need volunteer hosts for one simple task that only takes a few minutes. If you do accept this task, I will feature your name (and website) as a campaign host (listed above). Sponsorship opportunities also available.

By making healthy food more accessible, the urban farming movement is literally changing the way people eat.

With Tower Farms, we’ll build upon the legacy that founder Tim Blank and the Future Growing team started, helping communities, entrepreneurs, and agents of social change everywhere grow food easily and sustainably.

Because real food shouldn’t be a luxury enjoyed by few. It should be available to us all.

And since Tower Garden can grow fresh produce virtually anywhere — from rooftops to warehouses — it’s perfectly suited for the job of supplying more people with quality food. (Other perks like faster growth, bigger yields, greater sustainability, and less labor don’t hurt, either!)

Want to Help Change the Future of Food?

We’ll be sharing more information about Tower Farms soon. 

Thanksgiving Harvest

A few months ago, we told you the story about Oakland High School's agriculture program and the Tower Garden donation they received from Red Giant Union.

The story continues. I woke up this morning to an incredible email from James Koval,

"Hey Austin,

We are having our school's Thanksgiving lunch today and harvested most of the tower for a giant salad. Thank you so much for this incredible gift. It has generated lots of interest with everyone that sees it. I am amazed by that tower. Definitely produced more and faster than I expected!"

What I personally love is what the community accomplished by donating to our organization. Your dollar adds up - when we come together, we make extraordinary things possible. 
Oakland High School got a Tower Garden because of supporters like you. 
We are thankful for YOU this Thanksgiving.

"Thanks Austin Kasso and Red Giant Union - Public Charity for giving us the opportunity to GROW our own Thanksgiving salad in about four square feet of space, inside, and in less than two months. Everyone, go get yourself a Tower Garden!" 
- James Koval
Social Studies Teacher at Oakland High School

Monday, October 3, 2016

Winds heading west

I'm off to Colorado for one year. I'm not done with Indiana. I am going on tour...representing the heartland. My entrepreneurial spirit will keep guiding my efforts in telling our story. This is not to say anything is on pause. Far from it. What is happening now is an elevation (both personally and geographically). I am connecting with my business partner in Colorado and our journey together will shine a brighter light on this cause. We will work on helping each other solidify our vision. We will plant roots in new communities, expand our network, and do what artists do on a quest to reveal the most obscure aspects of one's dream. This is action. 

Personally, I feel it is my duty to ensure we maintain a pioneering edge. This is the sharpening of our blade, to cut through the limitations of our economic and political atmosphere.

Rock It Green! S1, Episode 3

Indiana-based agriculture startup, Rubicon Ag, CEO Chris Moorman spent his early career in the rough and tumble commodity trading pits of New York and Chicago before finding his passion for sustainable agriculture during a year long trip around the third world. 

Catch his story on Rock It Green Radio! as he discusses sustainability with thought leaders on the subject. Air date: Oct. 13th, 2016. With hosts, Antonio Saillant and Richard Solomon.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rock It Green! Episode 2

Linda Booker's experience playing in brooks and streams as a child instilled a love and respect for nature that now drives the mission of her company By the Brook Productions, LLC: To show stories and spotlight issues that enlighten and entertain as well as inspire solutions and possibilities for a healthier planet. Linda produced and directed the feature documentary film BRINGING IT HOME (Jury Award 2014 Wild and Scenic Film Environmental Festival, Best Environmental Film 2014 Sedona International Film Festival) that has reached audiences worldwide through film festivals, educational and community organization screenings and now available online. By the Brook Production's recent work in North Carolina includes videos for Clean Jordan Lake and the City of Durham on the topics of litter, storm water and watershed/lake pollution. Linda is on Green Festival's Advisory Board and a featured speaker at many of their events. She completed the Certificate in Documentary Film Arts from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2005.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Origins of a Dream

It started in High School... I went to Astronomy club where I sat quietly and listened to the stories in the planetarium (we had a legit planetarium in the school). One that stuck out to me on a personal level was the Red Giant star and the symbolism of it. A particular story is that of Antares; the star which ensures Growth, Evolution, and Change. My passion, since I was about 13, is the economy and the sustainable development of humanity. At a young age I became a voracious reader of philosophy and history, I started writing poetry at 11, and I was virtually raised in a museum. My father and grandparents are artists. My grandfather was friends with E. E. Cummings; he even wrote a poem about my grandfather that is published in his book "95 poems."  My grandmother was friends with Eleanor Roosevelt; they would meet for 'tea and theater." Eleanor bought three of her paintings and are hanging in one of her estates to this day. It is a lion series about love and family. Art to me is a part of my being, it is what makes each human unique, and I extend my perception of art to my business as well. This business to me is a masterpiece in the works, and will be an infinite creation, one that speaks to the very nature of our humanity. Where else to find our nature than in stories written in the stars? That has been the go-to for ages, and to this day the stars continue to connect us with ourselves in a profound way. This is just a seed... And like so, we plant seeds every day, we watch them grow, evolve, change... But we also ensure sustainability... We want our stories to carry on, live forever. Stars however do not live forever.. And if a star were to die, it can fizzle out or supernova. Red Giants are expected to supernova, but they can also fizzle out if they haven't gained enough mass. A supernova is responsible for the birth of new stars due to the power of the event, and they are also the largest event in the universe we can experience under the night sky. The Red Giant Union will not fizzle out, because humanity is always about the "masses" and that is what we do, we unite the masses for causes that are bigger than all of us, ones that ensure growth, evolution, and change, and the events of which will inspire new stars to rise.