Evaluating the Eden Grow Tower and Raised Bed Gardening
A Comparative Analysis
30 June, 2023 by
Evaluating the Eden Grow Tower and Raised Bed Gardening
Eden Grow Systems, Jeff Raymond
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There is a common misconception that growing food in the ground is an inexpensive endeavor. Many people assume that all it takes is some soil, seeds, and water to cultivate a thriving garden. However, this perception fails to consider the hidden costs associated with outdoor gardening. The expenses related to land maintenance, construction of necessary infrastructure, electricity for watering systems, water costs, and labor can quickly add up. As a result, there is often a misguided belief that indoor growing, such as with the Eden Grow Tower, is inherently more expensive. This analysis aims to dispel this misconception by providing a comprehensive breakdown of the costs involved in both traditional raised bed gardening and the innovative Eden Grow Tower system. By shedding light on these overlooked expenses, readers will gain a more accurate understanding of the true costs and benefits associated with different gardening methods, enabling them to make informed decisions about their own food-growing endeavors.


Growing your own food consistently can be a challenging endeavor that requires time, effort, and knowledge. While it offers numerous benefits such as access to fresh and nutritious produce, cost savings, and the satisfaction of self-sufficiency, there are several factors that can make it difficult to maintain consistent food production:

·       Growing your own food consistently requires a significant time commitment, including tasks such as planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting.

·       Successful food gardening relies on acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills, including understanding plant needs, soil preparation, pest management, and effective watering practices.

·       Seasonal challenges, such as varying climates and growing seasons, can affect the ability to grow crops year-round and require adapting to changing conditions.

·       Limited gardening space can pose challenges, especially for urban dwellers, who may need to explore alternative methods like container or vertical gardening.

·       External factors like unpredictable weather events, environmental pollution, or natural disasters can impact the success of food gardening and introduce additional challenges.

Growing your own food is indeed a tremendously rewarding and beneficial endeavor, offering a sense of self-sufficiency, connection with nature, and the joy of harvesting your own fresh produce. However, it is essential to acknowledge that the journey of growing food entails more than just idyllic visions of effortless abundance. The reality often involves hard work, dedication, and a steep learning curve, not to mention access to land. It requires careful planning, research, and continuous adaptation to the ever-changing conditions of the natural world. From preparing the soil and selecting suitable crops to battling pests, diseases, and weather challenges, there are numerous factors that can impact the success of your garden. It demands your time, effort, and perseverance, as well as a willingness to embrace the inevitable setbacks and failures that are part of the learning process. Nevertheless, despite the challenges, the personal satisfaction, nutritional benefits, and the opportunity to reconnect with the source of our food make the journey of growing your own food a truly worthwhile and enriching experience. As you transition from romantic concepts to reality, here are some critical items that quickly come into focus:

·       Planning and Preparation:

o   Researching and selecting suitable plants for the garden

o   Determining the size and location of the raised bed

o   Clearing the area of existing vegetation or debris

·       Materials and Tools:

o   Lumber or materials for constructing the raised bed frame

o   Soil amendments, such as compost or organic matter

o   Seeds or seedlings for planting

o   Mulch for weed suppression

o   Garden tools, including shovels, rakes, and hand trowels

o   Watering system, such as drip irrigation or a hose

·       Construction:

o   Building the raised bed frame according to the desired dimensions

o   Filling the bed with a suitable mix of soil and amendments

o   Installing the watering system, if desired

o   Mulching the area around the raised bed

·       Planting and Maintenance:

o   Planting the selected seeds or seedlings in the raised bed

o   Regular watering to ensure adequate moisture for plant growth

o   Weeding to control unwanted vegetation

o   Fertilizing the plants as needed

o   Pruning or trimming plants for proper growth and aesthetics

o   Monitoring for pests and taking necessary measures for pest control

o   Harvesting the mature produce

o   Cleaning and maintaining the garden tools and equipment

·       Time and Labor:

o   The time required for site preparation, including clearing and leveling the ground

o   Construction time for building the raised bed frame

o   Time spent on soil preparation and filling the raised bed

o   Planting time for seeds or seedlings

o   Daily or regular maintenance tasks, such as watering, weeding, and checking for pests

o   Harvesting time, which can vary depending on the crop and season

·       Costs:

o   Cost of materials, including lumber, soil amendments, seeds or seedlings, mulch, watering system, and other required items

o   Water costs for irrigation

o   Potential costs for soil testing, fertilizers, pest control products, and other garden supplies

o   Labor costs, considering the time spent on construction, maintenance, and harvesting

·       Other Required Items:

o   Power tools, or hand tools for construction

o   Saw Horses, tables for constructing the bed

In contrast to the challenges and learning curve involved in traditional food gardening, there is an alternative approach that offers convenience, ease of setup, and lower maintenance requirements: the Eden Grow Tower. The Eden Grow Tower presents a streamlined and space-efficient solution for growing your own food. With its innovative design, the tower eliminates the need for extensive land preparation, soil amendments, and ongoing weeding, and essentially flattens the learning curve required to grow your own food. 

Setting up the Eden Grow Tower is a breeze, requiring just one hour compared to the time-consuming planning, construction, and ongoing rework involved in traditional in-ground gardens. With the tower, you can start growing your own food in a fraction of the time it takes to plan and execute an outdoor garden. The controlled environment  the tower requires reduces the risk of plant diseases, pests, and weather-related challenges, allowing for consistent and reliable food production. Additionally, the tower's efficient watering system ensures optimal hydration for your plants while minimizing water waste.

Not only does the Eden Grow Tower offer convenience and ease, but it also delivers cost savings. The tower's lower recurring costs, such as reduced water usage and minimal maintenance, contribute to its affordability and long-term sustainability. By opting for the Eden Grow Tower, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of homegrown food without the extensive labor, time commitment, and challenges associated with traditional gardening methods.

Eden Grow Tower Description

Eden Grow Systems (EGS, aka Eden) is a mission-based, for-profit, business entity with the mission to provide sustainable food and energy independence to local communities around the world, and one day, off it. This mission allows Eden to focus on all aspects of food and energy production including community and education. For Eden to accomplish its mission, we must help build community and educate that community in these critical areas. In addition to community building and education, Eden believes in the appropriate use of technology to increase the quality of life for all on the planet, and one day, off it. The first Eden product, the Eden Tower, is an unmanned food growing system, or robot.

The Eden Tower is based on NASA-derived technology that reduces water consumption by over 95% compared to traditional agriculture methods, decreases human labor by 75%, increases space utilization by up to 300%, can grow the entire range of crops (including root vegetables) indoors, uses no dirt, requires no pesticides or herbicides, and consumes hardly any power.

Each tower, or robot, is autonomous, controlled by a computer that manages the watering, light, and fan schedules for the plantings. Users are required to simply monitor the crops, look for any issues, and perform minor maintenance requiring less than 5 minutes per day, and can do so with no training or prior existing knowledge of how to grow crops. Some towers come with an optional 60 gallon bi-modal reservoir, which allows users to operate the tower in hydroponic mode (add nutrient solution) or aquaponic mode (grow fish and utilize fish waste as the plant food). Four of these towers can produce 2000 calories per day, every day, 365 days-per-year and take up the same space as a queen size mattress. This system requires no understanding of farming, plants, or indoor growing, which enables any user of any level to set up, operate and maintain it. The towers are mobile, require no permits for installation, and take less than two hours with two people to set up.


In this analysis, we examine the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a raised bed garden. Raised bed gardening offers several advantages to traditional inground growing, including better soil drainage, improved pest control, and ease of access for gardeners. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the financial aspects, we break down the one-time costs and recurring expenses involved in establishing and maintaining a 12x4ft raised bed garden. The one-time costs encompass materials such as lumber, soil, compost, mulch, tools, and a drip irrigation watering system. Additionally, we consider the cost of land, ranging from approximately $0.0459 to $23.46 per square foot, with low and high-end estimates calculated. Furthermore, recurring costs include soil replenishment, ongoing seed or seedling purchases, water usage, and labor. By analyzing these factors, we aim to provide gardeners with valuable insights into the overall investment required for establishing and managing a raised bed garden. The results reveal a comprehensive cost breakdown and serve as a valuable resource for those considering raised bed gardening as a viable option.

NOTE: Assumptions for this analysis are listed at the end of the document.

1)       Raised Bed Costs

a)       Raised Bed One Time Costs: $399.30 to $1937.68

i)         Lumber: $80 to $240

ii)        Soil: $60 to $180

iii)      Compost or Organic Matter: $30 to $60

iv)      Mulch: $12 to $30

v)        Tools and Accessories: $50 to $100

vi)      Watering System, Drip Irrigation: $80 to $200

vii)    Cost of land: Approximately $0.0459 to $23.46 per square foot

(1)    Low end of cost: $0.0459 * (12 * 4) = $2.21

(2)    High end of cost: $23.46 * (12 * 4) = $1,127.68

viii)  Labor to build:

(1)    Estimated time spent to build: 5.5hrs

(a)     Clear land: 2hrs

(b)     Buy components: 2hrs

(c)     Build bed: 1hr, assumes user has the construction tools

(d)     Fill bed with organic materials: .5hrs

(2)    Labor cost per day: $15.47 * (5.5) = $85.09

b)       Recurring Costs: $5.74 per day

i)         Soil: $120, required new each year $0.33/day

ii)        Watering System (Drip Irrigation): $0.02 per day

(1)    Average cost: $0.0004089/square foot/day x 48 square feet = $0.01957/day

iii)      Electrical Cost for Watering System (Daily): $0.26 per day

iv)      Labor Cost (Daily): $5.11 per day

v)        Property Tax (Daily): $0.02 per day

c)       Summary:

i)         Medium One Time Cost: Approximately $1,211.04

(1)    Low One Time Cost: Approximately $399.30

(2)    High One Time Cost: Approximately $1,937.68

ii)       Medium One Time cost per square foot: $25.23

iii)     Recurring Costs per Season (6 months of growing): $1,047.55

iv)     Recurring Costs per Season/per square foot: $21.82

v)       Time Spent: 20 Minutes Per Day

2)       Eden Triple Deck Grow Tower Costs

a)       Eden Grow Tower One Time Costs: $3999

i)         Lumber: Not required

ii)        Soil: Not required

iii)      Compost or Organic Matter: Not required

iv)      Mulch: Not required

v)        Tools and Accessories: Not required

vi)      Watering System (Drip Irrigation): Not required

vii)    Cost of land: Not applicable, uses area already paid for

viii)  Labor to build: $15.47

(1)    Assembly time, 1hr

(2)    1*15.47= $15.47

ix)      System Cost: $3,999

b)       Recurring Costs: $2.17 per day

i)         Electrical Cost: $0.60 per day

ii)        Labor cost per day: $15.47 * (5/60) = $1.29 per day

(1)     Time required per day: 5 minutes

iii)      Nutrients 1x every 3 months: $25, 25/3/30=$0.28 per day

c)       Summary:

i)         One-Time Cost: Approximately $3,714.47

ii)       One time cost per square foot: $154.77

iii)     Recurring Costs per Season (6 Months for comparison): $396.03

iv)     Recurring Costs per Season/per square foot: $16.50

v)       Time Spent: 5 minutes per day

By normalizing these summary values and comparing them by multiplying by 24 square feet we can more accurately compare these two solutions:

-           24 sq. ft. Raised Bed:

o   Medium One-Time cost per square foot: $605.52

o   Recurring Costs per Season/per square foot: $523.68

o   Qty of Seasons per year: 1

o   Recurring cost per year/per season: $523.68/1=$523.68

-           24 sq. ft. Eden Grow Tower:

o   One-time cost per square foot: $3,714.47

§  Additional up-front cost: $3,110.15

o   Recurring Costs per Season /per square foot: $396.03

§  Savings per Season: $157.65

o   Qty of Seasons per year: 2

o   Recurring cost per year/per season: $157.65/2=$78.83

§  Savings per year: $444.85

§  Years to pay off cost difference: 7

§  Life of tower: >10 years

The table on the next screen summarizes the pros and cons of each method.

Raised Bed Gardening

Eden Grow Tower


- Access to fresh and nutritious produce

- Access to fresh and nutritious produce


- Satisfaction of self-sufficiency

- Satisfaction of self-sufficiency


- Customizable bed size and location

- Higher and faster crop yields


- Reduced Pests

- No Pests


- Space-efficient and streamlined design



- Eliminates the need for extensive land preparation



- Consistent and reliable food production



- Saves time and effort in food preservation



- Year-round growing capabilities



- Aquaponic system for raising fish



- Minimal learning curve




- Hidden costs associated with outdoor gardening

- Higher initial cost compared to raised bed gardening


- Requires electricity for pumps and watering system

- Requires electricity for system to operate


- Nutrient replenishment required every season

- Nutrient replenishment required every 3 months


- Labor-intensive tasks: watering, weeding and pest management

- Potential maintenance and technical issues


- Challenges with adapting to changing weather

-Plant size a potential issue


- Limited or NO gardening Space for urban dwellers

- Reliance on store-bought produce during off-season or purchasing of preservation equipment

- Seasonal limitations for growing crops


- Open to atmospheric contamination




The Eden Tower represents a revolutionary shift in growing food, offering a game-changing alternative to traditional in-ground gardening. This innovative solution not only addresses the challenges of home food production but also brings significant benefits. With its aeroponic method, the Eden Grow Tower yields higher and faster crop production compared to conventional gardening methods. By harnessing the power of aeroponics, this system provides optimal nutrient delivery and oxygenation to the plants, resulting in accelerated growth and bountiful harvests.

By adopting the Eden Grow Tower, you can bypass the time-consuming and resource-intensive process of traditional food preservation techniques like canning. With the tower's continuous year-round growing capabilities, you have the convenience of harvesting fresh produce whenever you need it, eliminating the need for this expensive preservation processes. This means you can enjoy the benefits of homegrown fruits and vegetables without investing valuable time and money in preservation equipment. Additionally, by growing your own fresh produce in the comfort of your home, you can save yourself the hassle of trips to the store, especially during challenging winter driving conditions. The Eden Grow Tower empowers you to embrace a self-sufficient lifestyle, providing a constant supply of fresh and nutritious produce without relying on preservation methods or additional store-bought produce.

The Eden Grow Tower offers a transformative way to reconnect with nature, achieve self-sufficiency, and savor the unmatched taste of homegrown goodness. Experience the joy of nurturing your own thriving garden, cultivating an abundance of fresh produce, raising fish, and even growing your own medicinal plants—all within the convenience of your own home. By embracing this sustainable and rewarding journey, you can enjoy the bounties of nature while improving your health, contributing to your community, and making a positive impact on the environment.


1.       Watering electrical costs

o   Well pump runs for 2 hours per day and the average power consumption is 1,500 watts

o   Using the example calculation:

§  Energy Consumption = 1,500 watts x 2 hours = 3,000 watt-hours

§  Energy Consumption (in kilowatt-hours) = 3,000 watt-hours / 1000 = 3 kilowatt-hours

§  Daily Cost of Electricity = Energy Consumption (in kilowatt-hours) x Electricity Rate

§  Daily Cost of Electricity = 3 kilowatt-hours x $0.085/kWh = $0.255

2.       Daily Water Cost

o   The general guideline suggests providing around 1 inch of water per week for most plants.

o   To determine the amount of water to apply per square foot per day, the weekly amount is divided by 7 (days in a week).

o   The calculation for this assumption is approximately 0.14 inches per day.

o   0.14 inches per day x 0.623 gallons = approximately 0.087 gallons per square foot per day

o   The average price per gallon of water across Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles is approximately $0.0047/gallon.

o   0.087 gallons/square foot/day x $0.0047/gallon = $0.0004089/square foot/day

3.       Daily Labor costs

o   To calculate the labor costs for tending to a garden of this size, we can use the assumption of minimum wage in Washington state. As of 2023, the minimum wage in Washington state is $15.47 per hour. Assuming an average of 20 minutes (or 0.33 hours) spent per day on garden maintenance, we can calculate the labor costs as follows:

o   Labor Cost per Day = Minimum Wage Rate * Hours Spent

o   Labor Cost per Day = $15.47 * 0.33

o   Labor Cost per Day = $5.11 (approximately)

4.       Daily Property Tax Rate

o   for a .25acre (10890 sqft) property worth $200,000 with an average effective property tax rate of 0.94%.

o   First, we calculate the annual tax:

§  Annual tax = Property value x Effective tax rate

§  Annual tax = $200,000 x 0.0094

§  Annual tax = $1,880

o   Next, we calculate the daily tax rate per square foot:

§  Total square footage = Assuming it is 10,890 square feet for this example

o   Daily tax rate per square foot = Annual tax / Total square footage

o   Yearly tax rate per square foot = $1,880 / 10,890 = $0.17 sqft

o   Daily tax rate per square foot = $0.17/365=$0.0005

o   With a grow bed of 0.0005*12*4=$0.02 dollars per day for a  12x4ft grow bed

Evaluating the Eden Grow Tower and Raised Bed Gardening
Eden Grow Systems, Jeff Raymond
30 June, 2023
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