Water is a renewable resource which is also priceless in nature. However, it has been polluted, wasted, and is taken for granted. There is a popular tale told in the Eastern Continents about a king and a glass of water. There was this King who got lost in a desert. He got separated from his escort, and was doing poorly when he finally found a hut. He called on the person living there and told him to bow to him and help him, as he was his King. The person could discern this as well, but refused to bow down. A long argument ensued, a part which goes thus:
The person asked the King, “If you were dying of thirst, with no one around and half a glass of water could save you, what would you give in thanks?
“I would give the person half my Kingdom”, said the King.
The person asked again, “And if you were dying of a bladder disease, where no one could help you and a person gives you half a glass of water which cures your disease, then would he get the same reward?
“Yes”, the King replied.
“Then would you want me to bow down to someone, who would give away his Kingdom for a glass of water?”
The thing is that, in real, we would give all our possessions for a glass of water, if we were to be deprived of it for, say, even a week. So, conserving this essential commodity is very important. And if you are a person who lives where water is scarce, then gardening is pretty much out of the question.
However, there is a new method of gardening which has been proved viable, which uses very minute quantities of water. This technique may have been used successfully before, but in the scientific circles, it was popularized by Willem Van Cotthem, who is a Professor from University of Ghent (Belgium).
His basic design uses any 1.5 l plastic bottles stacked together one on top of the other, half filled with soil. These make a vertical tower which then requires very little water for growing vegetables and herbs. It can be made using the following steps:
- Take a 1.5l empty plastic bottle and remove its bottom. The cap will remain intact. Drill two drainage holes near the cap. Fill it up with soil and place it upside down. This will be the bottom of the tower.
- Take another bottle; unscrew its cap and cut off the bottom. Fill it with soil and place it upside down in the first bottle.
- Repeat step 2 for 2-3 bottles to make a tower.
- The last bottle will be empty. Now, take another bottle, drill a hole in its cap and cut off the bottom and place it upside down in the topmost bottle. This will make your water reservoir when watering the system.
- The last step is cutting small flaps in the bottles containing the soil and planting either seeds or young plants.
You are pretty much set to go. You can even place this close to your window sill, if you live in an apartment and do not have outside space. It will grow and work anywhere, if it gets 6 hours of sunlight. For best results we recommend quality seeds, which can be gotten in a deal from Groupon and various other sites. However, the real benefit, as was mentioned earlier, is that it consumes very little water. The system is designed to be closed. The water drips from the top bottle and goes through successive compartment and eventually to the bottom. There is no direct surface evaporation from soil, so the soil remains moist, making it easier for the plants to utilize the water. There is also no water runoff, and hence, water is conserved. Professor Willem originally designed this to combat nutritional imbalance in deserts or areas affected by desertification; and to make food available to the poor communities in the developing world.
We believe in conserving water for our future generations, fighting desertification and nutritional imbalances. You can help as well, by doing the little that is in your power. A small action done by a million people can make a difference that is profound and change how the world works.
Guest Post by Frank Lee @ artfulclub.com