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.
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.
Today, the first vertical garden was set up!
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.
It’s inspiring to see the real thing built and looking sturdy.
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.
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.
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.