The Gwaltneys are born nerds for nature. They love the land and have been farming in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia for generations. Today, they are excited to be a part of sustainable farming innovation in the form of Vertical Aeroponic Towers with their family farm, Emerge Gardens.
The Gwaltneys moved back from Riyadh, a place they lived for six years, with the intent of improving their quality of life. Michelle’s mother and Jeremy’s father both passed away, and the couple made the decision to place an emphasis on leading a healthier lifestyle. They returned to Georgia, a place that they had spent a great deal of their life. “I loved Atlanta, we lived there for 23 years, for a part of that we were living overseas too,” said Michelle.
Jeremy and Michelle Gwaltney’s interest in living a healthier lifestyle led them to Charlotte County. But they decided to slow life down. Jeremy said, “Stop in Punta Gorda”. They saw people kayaking and biking, and they were like, wow! They couldn’t stop thinking about it and soon Emerge Gardens was born.
Why Tower Garden?
We believe in growing using Aeroponics with no chemical pesticides, fertilizers or soil contamination. We harvest our produce to order which ensures maximum nutrition, freshness and flavor.
What are the Tower Gardens used for?
We have donated Tower Garden units to The Homeless Coalition of Charlotte County and have an ongoing training program with them. We also donate extra produce to The Bread of Life Mission, and Peace River Wildlife Refuge. From an education perspective, we have a junior intern program, work directly with Charlotte County schools, and host educational events in Scott St. park for all ages. You can learn about new projects as they are added here.
How many Tower Gardens do you have and what do you grow in them?
We started with 3 Towers in our backyard, moved to 12 Towers with a Community Garden which grew into an urban farm of 65 units with more on the way!
What has been the reaction from your local community?
The reaction locally has been excitement from all with parents, students and teachers all visiting the greenhouse on their own. We have been featured in a newspaper article with other papers on stand-by until we get the new property up and running.
Where do you see Emerge Gardens in the future?
We believe the opportunities for more nutrient dense food, job programs, and re-education regarding what farming means are endless. We are excited for the future in our community.
Emerge Gardens, formerly Gwaltney Greenhouse can be found at 6427 Elliot St, Punta Gorda FL 33950.
Seedlings and produce may be purchased at their greenhouse. Check their website for up to date information. www.emergegardens.com
If you are looking to install a Tower Garden farm, please contact us.