As we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we at the Albuquerque Public Library are excited to let you know about our new tower garden program. Tower gardens are just what they sound like, a collection of plants grown on a tower grown through the aeroponic method. Aeroponic gardening is similar to hydroponic gardening in that neither uses soil as the growth medium for their plants, but whereas in hydroponics the roots of the plants are immersed in water, aeroponics keep the roots exposed to air inside the tower. This allows for a more stable environment for plant growth, and can be done year round. Also, tower gardening is a very environmentally friendly form of gardening. It reduces carbon footprints by reducing use of shipping and storage, uses up to 90% less land and water than traditional gardening, recycles 100% of the water and nutrients used, and allows the plants to be grown in a "habitat" without pests and disease, meaning that pesticides don't need to be used. It's a sustainable type of gardening that can be done in urban environments, and already we have harvested everything from lettuce to kale to basil, and are even experimenting with growing cucumbers and beans! As we all look forward to reopening the library, we are especially excited to share this new, delicious endeavor with you. Towers are already set up at our Main, South Broadway, and Central and Unser branches, with plans to add more in time and to develop fun, community-based programs that allow all of us to learn about science, nutrition, and new ways to take care of (and benefit from) the wonders of the natural world.