OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Help Children Grow Tomatoes using EarthBoxes

EarthBoxes are a highly efficient, foolproof method of growing tomatoes suitable for crowded urban areas. Children can easily set up EarthBoxes and grow some of their own food, organically promoting better nutrition for themselves and their families.

Photo of Avi Solomon

Written by

EarthBoxes are a highly efficient, foolproof method of growing tomatoes suitable for crowded urban areas. Children can easily set up EarthBoxes and grow some of their own food, organically promoting better nutrition for themselves and their families.

A DIY version can be made using two five gallon buckets or bigger plastic bins.

Soda Pop Bottle Planters can be used for a easy start by the children and for farming on vertical surfaces like shack walls. (Thanks for reminding me of this Johan)

How do you envision this idea making money?

Children can sell surplus produce at a weekly farmer's market

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

By organically improving family nutrition

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

Builds children's health, confidence and entrepreneurial skills

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Start an EarthBox pilot project in Caldas
View more

Attachments (2)

diy-two-bucket-earthbox-sub-irrigated-planter.pdf

DIY Two Bucket EarthBox Sub Irrigated Planter

earthtainer-construction-guide.pdf

DIY EarthTainer Construction Guide

10 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Johan Löfström

Would it become possible for people to manufacture their own buckets with the irrigation? or do you have to buy plastic factorymade buckets? I was thinking partly to cut down initial costs, and to also make it into a business, so some of them can manufacture more buckets and sell in their neighbourhood, along with instructions and tutoring on home-farming. Maybe also a school-project for a science-fair and simiilar?

Do many have access to their own rooftops? I thought that many people living in villages have no space outdoors? And growing plants inside their living area would be taking up valuable space.
what planting model is taking up least amount of space? pots, square boxes or sacks or another type? www.windowfarms.org feasible? enough low cost to DIY?

Would it be possible to show inspiration in a handbook on cheap and clever ways to collect rainwater for watering the plants? or is it enough monthly percipitation and humidity in the air?

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri

Indeed Johan – see my link below for the sack garden that flourished in Nairobi's Mathare. Easy, cheap and great entrepreneurial outputs!

Spam
Photo of Avi Solomon

A wiremesh could be laid on top of the shack roof for the tomatoes to get gripholds and sun. A gutter from the roof could drain directly into the earthbox - it already has an overflow hole to let off excess water.

Spam
Photo of Avi Solomon

Johan, in my experience Windowfarms.org is simply too high-tech & electricity intensive - though it does get lots of publicity:)

For Local DIY manufacturing designs that don't use plastic, Olla Clay Pot method might be your best bet:
http://www.globalbuckets.org/p/olla-irrigation-clay-pot-system.html

Spam
Photo of Johan Löfström

i added the windowfarms only as inspiration for people to be creative and use trash like PET-bottles and reuse for "hanging improvised gardens" that do not take up much floor space.

Spam
Photo of Avi Solomon

Johan, did you mean something along these lines?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k80Z3W56yZY
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenscaper/2519983658/

Spam
Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Reading all of these about "plastic bottles" could be also a greater way of giving second life to plastic products that people in cities throw away. Imagine you live in Manizales, and you return your plastic bottle and get something on return (symbolic, I presume). That's a way of linking enterprises, people in the cities and children in Caldas.

View all comments