The pandemic changed so much for so many! In our case, it stifled sales and marketing progress due the the instability it created for our distributors and customers alike. For our collaborators, it halted many interactions, programs, new expansions and more.

Here locally, our friends at the Missouri Botanical Garden were unable to staff and plant the Varden Vertical Garden walls in their Kemper Home Gardening Area and visitors were mostly kept away. We all lost the year but we are hopeful for some great growing collaborations going forward. They are one of our most important relationships.

Our Friends at Urban Harvest STL were able to maintain their mission of growing food to alleviate food insecurity for City residents. They made lots of changes and just like us, they lost momentum in organizational growth and mission expansion but they persevered. Visits to their “Food Roof” farm were a huge attraction for many in our community and it was a much needed fund raising venue as well. Our favorite thing was touring and collaborating with their staff on the success and failures associated with vertical farming in our Varden vertical garden system. They have been growing vertically in our Varden system for the last 5 years with much success and were so kind to share what they have learned in doing so.

Yesterday I got a chance to get back up on the Food Roof as part of a morning television shoot and was able to enjoy the familiar space and shoot some great pics. Their mission is back in full swing and we are proud to collaborate with them to learn, while we help them grow more food in a very fixed space!

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About the Author: Mark Woolbright

Mark Woolbright is an inventor and innovator of living walls with over 30 years in design, manufacture, marketing, and installation of plantable, living wall systems. Mark graduated from Eastern Illinois University and is currently Managing Member of Greenwall Ventures, LLC, and most recently, CEO/Founder of Verdtech, Inc. Throughout his career, he has been awarded twelve patents, with more applications pending. Mark has served on the Board of the St. Louis USGBC, as a member of the Green Wall Committee of GRHC which develops course curriculum for its Green Walls 101 course and is a certified Biophilic Design trainer through GPGB. He is passionate about educating the building community on the environmental benefits of Living Walls and best practices for their use. If you have questions on living walls, contact Mark at (314) 279-8905 or View his creations and services at