Building 20 vertical gardens in Kenya

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The image features an artistic illustration of a vertical garden adorned with crops, drawn in a black line art style on a yellow background.

Project details

In Progress
Area

Agriculture

Region

🇰🇪 Kenya

No. People Impacted

👩🏿‍🦲 150

Amount raised for this project

$1,770

Deployed via
Internally raised

$1,770

Externally raised

$0

We've raised the necesary amount to carry out this project. If you'd like to contribute to upcoming projects join our village.
About

As a result of climate change, rain in the Wamunyu community has not been as regular, and the community faces drought conditions annually. Many farmers in Wamunyu with limited growing space also grow one crop at a time, leading to food insecurity.

The vertical garden was an innovation designed by locals in Wamunyu, Kenya, in response to these issues. The structure is made using netting, formed around a vertical soil foundation. The netting is punctured, and crops are grown on the sides and top soil.

The design allows for a more diverse range of crops, far less water usage and a significant land-use reduction.

To leverage and distribute this invention, we will fund training, build, and distribute 20 vertical garden prototypes within Wamunyu as part of an initial pilot programme. The pilot will aim to prove the efficiency gains in planting crops vertically, and if successful, we will work with locals to fund the development of this invention.

We will pilot these initial gardens in 3 locations:

At the Wamunyu Special School — a residential school for children with cognitive disabilities. Often struggling to afford nutritious meals for the students, the gardens will provide vegetables for the children and staff.

The Kenya Connect Centre (our ground partner) will serve as a demonstration site for the community. Farmers, community leaders and County agriculture officials will be invited to learn about Vertical Gardens.

Finally, gardens will be provided to 5 low-income parents, single parents, and those with particular hardships.

Impact

This pilot will provide sustained access to food for five families in hardship (approx. 25 people), the students, teachers and staff at the Wamunyu Special School (100 people) and the staff and visitors of Kenya Connect (25). Kenya Connect will also hold training on the use of Vertical Gardens for the local community at large.

Updates

From the field

Checking in on beneficiaries in Wamunyu

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 21 April 2024

James, the project lead on the ground in Kenya, recently visited residents and beneficiaries of this project.

Pictured are two beneficiaries showcasing the crop from their gardens. They've been earning an additional income by selling surplus crops at local markets—an unexpected positive side effect that we didn't initially factor in 💪🏿.

Garden Towers Begin To Produce!

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 5 April 2024

Five weeks since our beneficiary communities established their garden towers with funding from Kwanda, it is a delight to report that they are now harvesting fresh vegetable produce! At the Wamunyu special school, the students, led by their teacher, Mr Henry, harvested kale and spinach for their dinner at school. Being a boarding school, the garden towers are offering a cheap supply of nutrition to the students. The gardens have also been harvested at the Kenya Connect Resource Center, and the vegetables are served as lunch for the staff. At the individual homesteads, the gardens provide healthy vegetables to the families, with some selling the excess to earn some income.

On average, each garden tower has about 75 plants of both kale and spinach. Each garden tower is watered with an average of 10 litres daily.

At some homesteads, the beneficiaries have faced a challenge of chickens eating the vegetables but they have since innovated by providing either an enclosure of gunny bags, old mosquito netting or even thorny bushes around the gardens. The vegetables are organically grown using organic compost. The project aims to promote food security, empower women through agricultural entrepreneurship, and encourage environment-friendly farming practices.

One of the project beneficiaries, Joyce, commented:

The tower gardens have transformed the way we approach food production. I never knew I could produce my own vegetables in a small piece of land during the dry season using low quantities of water. Not only do the gardens provide my family with fresh vegetables, but they also empower us as women to contribute to our household's well-being.

The locals continue to be very grateful to Kwanda as they reap the benefits of the garden tower technology.

The vertical gardens are thriving!

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 20 March 2024

I am delighted to share some photos of the progress of the garden towers.

The gardens have thrived since the locals planted their towers about three weeks ago!

The locals have been caring for the gardens through constant watering and weeding. At the special school, the gardens offer students an opportunity to experience practical lessons on good crop husbandry practices.

Very soon, they will provide a healthy diet for the students! Our staff have been visiting the homesteads and the Wamunyu special school to monitor the progress. So far, we have yet to experience challenges.

We anticipate the beneficiaries will start harvesting the vegetables for domestic use in the coming weeks.

Photographs

Teacher Henry doing a practical agriculture lesson with students at special school:

Teacher Henry doing a practical agriculture lesson with students at special school

Students at Wamunyu Special school weeding their garden towers:

Students at Wamunyu Special school weeding their garden towers.

Joyce watering her garden tower:

Joyce watering her garden tower

Peter attending one of the garden towers:

A person tending to a vegetable garden, focusing on a lush, leafy plant, possibly a type of cabbage or kale. The garden is in an open field under a clear sky with scattered clouds, and the surrounding landscape includes more vegetation and a few trees. The individual is wearing a sleeveless basketball jersey and appears to be using a small tool or his hands in the soil.

Vertical gardens are going on up at Wamunyu Special School

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 28 February 2024

We just received these beautiful photos from the Wamunyu Special School.

The vertical gardens are now being built there.

Here are photos of the kids at Wamunyu Special School helping build them.

The first vertical garden has been built

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 19 February 2024

Today, the first vertical garden was set up!

Locals underwent further training to learn how to build a vertical garden:

In the training, we invited five women from five homesteads who will benefit from the garden towers and a teacher from the Wamunyu special school.

Trainees were trained on setting up the garden towers, including how to mix the soil with organic manure, compact the soil, and plant the seedlings.

When we first voted on this project, all we had to go by was an AI-generated sketch of what we hoped the vertical garden structure would look like.

It’s inspiring to see the real thing built and looking sturdy.

Locals from Wamunyu attended training in sewing, cutting and puncturing netting.

Posted by Jermaine

Posted 4 February 2024

Today, five locals underwent training in the construction of vertical gardens - a more efficient method for growing crops with less water usage.

They learnt the entire production process from cutting to sewing and accurately puncturing openings on the vertical garden structures.

Kale & Spinach Seedlings

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 31 January 2024

This week, our team started working on preparing the seed beds for setting up the nurseries for the seedlings that we will be planting in the vertical gardens.

The nurseries are set up at the Kenya Connect campus since there is a reliable supply of water. We have sown the seeds for kale and spinach. In a week's time, they should have germinated! Attached are some pics.

Training preparation has begun

Posted by James Musyoka

Posted 26 January 2024

Hi, everyone.

We are beginning this work and planning to commence the training on vertical gardens in February.

At the same time, we will begin to establish seed nurseries for the different vegetables that we will be planting in the gardens once that work begins.

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