Raised in a rural farm community in the western Dakotas, Tim Blank grew up loving "the land we all steward," as he puts it. Combining a passion for agriculture and science, he graduated in 1992 from Valencia College with a degree in Horticulture and Greenhouse Management.
In 1993, Tim took the first step toward what was to become his life's work when he was hired by Walt Disney World in Florida as an advanced intern at Epcot Center's Living with the Land pavilion. Taking visitors on a boat ride through the American plains, the rain forest, and the African desert, Living with the Land explores how innovative technologies permit more efficient food growth, while preserving the environment. The ride culminates in a futuristic world of plants growing without soil, a world that quickly became Tim's domain.
"The Living with the Land pavilion and I were a perfect match," Tim smiles. "After six months as an intern, I spent the next six years conducting research in every horticultural discipline imaginable - all in the controlled agricultural environment of The Land." He also served as a research liaison for the Department of Energy and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) partnership with Walt Disney World.
In 2000, Tim accepted the position of Chief Horticulturist and Greenhouse Manager of the Living with the Land pavilion. As Greenhouse Manager, he was responsible for four hydroponic bio-domes over a two-acre area, consisting of tropical, temperate, productive, and innovative greenhouses. As Chief Horticulturist, he managed a team of scientists and horticultural interns. Tim co-authored several academic papers pertaining to the extensive collaborative research at The Land. He traveled in the U.S. and abroad, sharing the research being conducted at Disney, while also bringing back the latest horticultural technologies and concepts to The Land.
In 2005, Tim left Disney to launch a one-of-a-kind company called Future Growing, where he still serves as President today. "Future Growing is dedicated to reintroducing healthy food to the American family," Tim explains. "We've developed a vertical growing system called the Tower Garden that allows people to grow their own nutritious, tasty fruits and vegetables.
"With the Tower Garden, people produce healthy and nutritious food with a fraction of the effort and natural resources and in a fraction of the time required by conventional gardening," Tim says of his proprietary growing system.