Recycling plastic to grow food with vertical garden

in gardener •  last month 

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Building on the principles of permaculture I have been evaluating the potential usefulness of that which we once called waste. In the example above I have cut small circular holes in a plastic container and used it for sprouting shallots. I planted out the green ones yesterday in tubs.

We have an allotment but thanks to the recent torrential rain here in southern France it is still flooded so for now I am focused on what we can do at home.

Vertical gardening

A few weeks ago I bought a 42 piece vertical wall garden set which looks a bit like this one.

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It is very well designed and super sturdy so I expect it to last a long time. I had intended to buy another 42 pieces but looking at it over the last few days I have changed my mind and will instead build my own system for free. It may not be as sturdy but it is easily repeatable and better still, it gives our rubbish a second life.

Thanks to @trucklife-family for the inspiration on this one!

Water bottles

We create an abundance of plastic water bottles in our home because we don't drink the tap water. So I made a template and set about cutting holes in bottles with a hot knife. Lots of fun ;)

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They can be easily linked together and hung on any exterior wall. I tested them full of stones and was happy to see that it holds together perfectly.

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In the bottom of each I put a handful of stones to help with drainage. For now I keep the lids on but when I put them back in place on the wall I will remove them, permitting for the water to drain through each one.

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The final design will include a water bottle at the top which will be used exclusively for feeding. This way I can simply fill the bottle at the top of each column and let it slowly drip feed the others.

Yesterday I planted some seeds and will keep the bottles indoors until the plants are more developed and the nights are not so cold.

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The more bottles we produce the more growing columns I will create and by the end of this year I expect most of our courtyard walls to be covered with edible goodies.

I am also sprouting onions & garlic in cut plastic bottles, destined for tubs on the floor.

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In truth I don't much know what I am doing but I am most definitely excited to get stuck in and learn as much as I can. Yesterday two kiwis, one avocado & nine organic lemon trees sprouted. Tomorrow who knows? I have a lot going on here. Today these spuds are getting planted into tubs.

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Along with this ginger which will be sprouted indoors, likely next to the radiator as this is a tropical plant.

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Final thoughts

Re-using water bottles for vertical gardening is a lot of fun and it is so simple anyone can do it. Further to this I have noticed myself drinking more water over the last few days, keen to create more columns. Which is great! We are so far from harvesting the fruits of our labour yet my body is already benefiting ;)

Now go take a look at your exterior walls and ask yourself, are you optimising your available growing space?

It doesn't need to be complicated.

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Who is @samstonehill?

He was a London based filmmaker until he sold everything and set out on a barefoot journey around the world, currently based in the south of France.

He is travelling with his partner & two children and with no bank account he has been living on crypto for over two years.

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Sam supports @naturalmedicine because they are seeking to help us in ways which go far beyond money. Please come and join us on Discord

All content created for this account is 100% original (unless otherwise stated), produced by @samstonehill who invites you to use & share freely as you wish.

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Interesting use of recycled materials. Good job!

Thanks. It seemed like the logical thing to do ;)

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Hey there! Thanks for the feature :)

Plenty more where this came from. Am just getting warmed up!

All the best to you.

Hi Sam, do you follow @thegreens in Cameroon?

He is very much into growing with reused plastic items.

Thanks for suggesting thegreens, dear @pennsif!
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Thanks very much!

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Thanks!

I love these ideas - very cool!

Thanks! Hope you are able to give this a try this year ;)