Description of Challenge➢ Population growth decreases available land for nature and for food production. ➢ Urban dwellers have little/no space for food production to sustain the family. ➢ Organic home-growns prevent diseases caused by food toxicity levels causes by the chemicals used by agro-business. ➢ Little water is needed for this system, making it viable in dry areas also. ➢ Efficiency of space: one portable garden of two sacks can support a family of three.
> Holders/stands (framework to hold the sacks)
> Soil & sand
> Balast (stones)
How to prepare your sack beds:
You need to make a framework or structure in which the sacks fit to hold them firmly in place. If you want to make your garden portable, make sure there is a bottom in the framework (but which allows for some water drainage!) and that the sides are such that the sacks do not fall our when the framework is moved.
In rural areas you can dig a hole of about one feet deep, put a timber/tree post in it and make it firm by filling the hole with soil. In urban areas you can make a structure to hold a sack filled with soil.
2) Make a mixture of top-soil + compost + sand in a ratio of 3:2:1. However, this ratio is a rule of thumb. The amount of sand added to the mixture depends on the quality of the soil. If the soil is of high fertility, you can add this amount of sand. If the soil quality is poor, add less.
3) Cut the bottom of the sacks when still empty and insert them into the frame.
4) Put the mixed soil into the sacks up to almost 2 feet.
5) Remove the bottoms of the tins/containers and put them where the soil has reached (i.e.halfway into the sack). Spread them out evenly over the surface and fill them with ballast (stones). Do not put too many tins per amount of soil – see the link for examples.
6) Fill the spaces between the tins and the sides of the sacks with mixed soil until it reaches the hight of the containers/tins. Then pull up the containers, , leaving the ballast behind.
7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the framework has been filled to the top. This helps percolation of water when watering.